Torrential rains in Yemen killed and injured more than 18 people and affected over 22,000 families in 15 governorates located mostly in Houthi-controlled areas.
While residents accuse the Houthi militia of underestimating the disaster and being unresponsive to the distress calls, the group admitted that 21,378 houses were damaged by the floods triggered by heavy rains.
A total of 8,339 houses were fully damaged, 13,034 houses were partially damaged, and 51 others are in imminent danger of collapsing.
The militia group said 159 agricultural lands were affected by the harsh weather while 28 dams, wells and water networks collapsed.
Additionally, it reported 82 cases of hazardous rockfalls and roadblocks and said the rains washed away 22 livestocks.
The Hajjah governorate topped the list of governorates where houses were the most damaged, while Al-Mahweet governorate registered the highest numbers of hazardous rockfalls.
Residents said that the militia stood idle and exerted zero efforts to protect them, their interests, and their properties such as carrying out evacuation operations and launching previous warnings.
Local sources reported that the floods led to the destruction of three houses in the Old City of Sanaa, Tahrir, and in a village in Hajjah. The third house's collapse killed a child.
Floods have also partially destroyed four other houses, making the families homeless, due to rock falls.
For more than ten days, dozens of households have been displaced from Houthi-ruled areas to more secure areas after their houses collapsed. Other households expressed concern that their houses could fall due to more floods and to the Houthis abstaining from acting on this.
Meteorologists expect more rainfalls of different intensities in the Yemeni capital and cities of mountain highlands, and most of them are under the militias’ control.
The United Nations warned that rains would hit several Yemeni regions in the next few days and lead to the spread of desert locusts.
“Field reports indicate that 31 people died, 37 were injured, and 3 were reported to be missing in the wake of the April floods,” the UN food agency FAO said in a statement.
The report noted that this caused “huge damage to spate irrigation infrastructures across much of the wadies,” the FAO added.
Heavy rains also caused devastating rockfall, especially in Yarim District, which is under militias’ control, FAO added.
Heavy rains persisted with heavy downpours reported in Al-Mahwit, Hajjah, Dhamar, Raymah, Ibb, and Sanaa.
The United Nations Population Fund noted, “Between January and April 2023, 2,102 families were affected by extreme weather conditions, including heavy rain and floods across the country."
"The majority of those affected reside in areas that are hard-to-reach and hosting displaced persons."
“The RRM cluster stepped up its response to assisted flood-affected families, with operational presence in all of the 12 flood-affected governorates.”
“Emergency teams were deployed by the RRM cluster to assess the damage to dwellings and shelters in all of the 62 districts affected by rains and flooding within the 12 governorates.”