Cyclone Sagar brings heavy rain and strong winds to southern Yemen

Storm approaching Aden after damaging homes and causing power cuts in Hadramawt and Mahra provinces

A view of the southern port city of Aden, Yemen January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Fawaz Salman
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Yemen's temporary capital Aden was hit by strong winds on Friday morning as tropical cyclone Sagar approached, prompting authorities to a call on residents to evacuate areas near the shore in the southern port city

Sagar has brought heavy rainfall to coastal areas in Yemen's Hadramawt and Mahra provinces and Socotra Island since forming in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday and moving westward. It was expected to affect Aden, Abyan and Shabwa province on Friday, the Yemeni meteorological department said.

Strong winds in Hadramawt and Mahra have damaged homes and led to power outages, said Adeeb Al Hudyani, a resident of Hadramawt's main city of Mukalla.

Yemen's Minister of Local Administration, Abdulraqeeb Fatah, has ordered governors of coastal provinces to form emergency committees to deal with the fallout from heavy rain and possible flooding, the state-run Saba news agency reported.

Mr Fatah called on the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen, Liza Grande, to work with the government in sending aid, medical supplies and humanitarian teams to affected areas.

Sagar was packing winds of about 75kph and the main threat posed by the cyclone was heavy rainfall, the Weather Underground website reported.

The UK Meteorological Office warned in a special advisory issued on Wednesday that "severe flash flooding and river flooding across the region will lead to a loss of human life, livestock, and the destruction of crops, property and infrastructure".

"Very heavy rainfall occurring across Western Yemen is likely to promote cholera infection rates in the weeks ahead," the Met Office added.

Sagar is the third hurricane-strength cyclone in the Southern Yemen in recent years. Cyclone Chapala hit Socotra in late 2015, followed just days later by Cyclone Megh, destroying hundreds of homes and killing 18 people on the island, which lies in the Gulf of Aden about 300 kilometres from Yemen's southern coast.