Yemen: flooding kills 4 in historical area of Hadramawt

Families forced to flee homes in Tarim city as officials await word on damage to heritage buildings

Four people were killed and more than 84 families made homeless by flooding in Tarim, south-east Yemen.

A government official in Hadramawt province told The National that torrential rain hit the district at 5pm on Sunday.

It caused “severe flooding, particularly in the areas of Eideed, Al Khalif and Damoon”, the official said.

Flooding in Tarim, a historical city in Yemen's south-eastern province of Hadramawt which was hit by heavy rainfall on May 2, 2021. Hadramawt Governor's Office
Flooding in Tarim, a historical city in Yemen's south-eastern province of Hadramawt which was hit by heavy rainfall on May 2, 2021. Hadramawt Governor's Office

“Four people died, three of them from one family who were buried under the rubble of their house in Eideed.”

The floods destroyed many old houses and trapped dozens of families inside their homes, Tarim resident Amjad Subeih said.

Many people suffered injuries, while homeless families took shelter in mosques and public schools, he said.

Tarim city is one of the historical sites in Wadi Hadramawt and is about 50 kilometres from Shibam city, a Unesco World Heritage site believed to be the oldest settlement in the world to use such high-rise construction and often referred to as the “Manhattan of the Desert”.

The city of Tarim in Yemen's Hadramawt governorate, with Al Muhdhar Mosque in the foreground. AFP
The city of Tarim in Yemen's Hadramawt governorate, with Al Muhdhar Mosque in the foreground. AFP

Tarim is considered a religious and academic centre in Wadi Hadramawt, with ancient mud buildings including mosques and palaces packed tightly together, and an old library with a collection of 14,000 religious manuscripts.

It was not clear whether any of Tarim’s historic buildings had been damaged, officials said.

Heavy seasonal rain has caused flooding in several parts of Yemen for more than two weeks.

Besides Hadramawt, deaths and damage to property were reported in Sanaa, Hodeidah and Taez provinces.

Yemen’s Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority issued several warnings for people to stay vigilant.

Updated: May 3, 2021 10:24 PM

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