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Luban Cyclone Frustrates Yemenis, Saudi Relief Airlifted to Damaged Areas

Luban Cyclone Frustrates Yemenis, Saudi Relief Airlifted to Damaged Areas

Tuesday, 16 October, 2018 - 09:00
On Oct. 15, NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Northern Indian Ocean and captured a visible image of the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Luban along the coast of Yemen and Oman. Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)/NOAA

Arab Coalition forces and the Saudi King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) are working together to provide and deliver food aid to the eastern Al Mahra governorate in Yemen, said Saudi Ambassador to Yemen and Isnad Center Chief Executive Mohammed Al Jaber.

Flash floods and landslides triggered by the tropical storm Luban continued to hit Al Mahra.

Al Jaber, in a tweet following the catastrophic events, confirmed that KSRelief is airlifting humanitarian assistance to ِAl Mahrah locals while a Saudi-sponsored program works on the development and reconstruction of infrastructure and reparation of power stations damaged by the category 1 tropical storm, Luban.

Other than Saudi Arabia flying emergency aid to Yemen, it is sending relief convoys by land.

At least 100 tents, 320 food baskets, 1500 blankets, and 200 mats were airlifted on board a military plane landed on Monday evening. Some 900 food baskets are also expected to pass through Saudi borders within the coming 48 hours.

Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr said on Monday that the costal governorate has been devastated by the cyclone.

He called on relief organizations working in Yemen to rush to the aid of people of the governorate.

Bin Daghr urged local officials to remain and double rescue efforts for saving Yemenis trapped by floods.

Al Mahara Governor Rajih Bakrit said that some 50 families are stuck on top of rooftops, pointing out that the situation is tragic and overwhelming for the limited capacities of local authorities.

Bakrit proposed that the internationally-recognized government and Arab Coalition provide air support to evacuate the surviving families.

"The situation is too dangerous and we need a quick reaction from the air forces to save those families besieged by flood flashes," he said in an online statement.

Luban started to crash into the eastern coasts of Yemen and neighboring Oman on Sunday, with winds of up to 110 km per hour, affecting Al Mahara cities and villages across the governorate.

Saudi Arabia was among the first responders to the aftermath of hurricane Luban, providing relief support to affected residents.

The storm caused a power blackout which affected 92 percent of Al Mahra governorate, crippling infrastructure, damaging some 53 homes and displacing most of the local population, save those who remain trapped.

The United Nations said, in statements released on social media on Tuesday, that strong winds and heavy rain from cyclone Luban have injured 33 people and affected 2,000 families in war-ravaged Yemen.

It said that the cyclone had caused extensive damage to houses, roads, bridges, and powerlines to coastal districts in Al Mahra.

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