Cyclone Mekunu update: Aid shipped to Yemen delayed because of bad weather, says UAE envoy
Socotra - The ERC and the Khalifa Foundation aided in reopening blocked roads in Socotra.
In the latest update on Cyclone Mekunu in Yemen, the UAE Ambassador to Yemen, Salem Al Ghfeli, tweeted about the UAE's efforts in alleviating the damage in the storm's aftermath.
"Socotra is in a very bad state; the UAE is making the utmost attempt to stand by our Yemeni brethren in Socotra. The Emirates Red Crescent and the Khalifa Foundation in Socotra have given assistance in reopening blocked roads. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital in Socotra is also ready for all emergency cases."
The ambassador continued: "Shelters have been arranged in schools and mosques for the most badly hit families. Repairs are underway for electricity generators as large areas have been left without electricity. Iftar and Suhoor meals, as well as winter clothing, has also been provided. UAE helicopters have been dispatched in search of the missing persons since Thursday morning."
"Unfortunately, ships dispatched with aid have been unable to make berth because of the severity of the weather conditions. As soon as the conditions improve they will resume their journey."
State of emergency Yemen declared a state of emergency on Socotra on Thursday after a tropical storm flooded several villages and capsized boats on the island and left at least 17 people missing, government officials said.
The island "requires urgent aid to help people stranded in their villages or those who reside in the mountains", government spokesman Rajeh Badi told the state news agency SABA.
He said 17 people were missing after two boats capsized and three cars were washed away by floods. Another official said more than 200 families had been evacuated from their villages.
Badi urged a Saudi-led military coalition and international organizations to provide urgent aid to the island. Seven people were missing and hundreds of others evacuated from their homes after Cyclone Mekunu hit the Yemeni island of Socotra Wednesday night, causing severe flooding and damage to houses, officials said.
The storm is expected to hit southern Yemen and the coast of neighboring Oman on Thursday, Oman's state news agency reported. It said Omani authorities evacuated hospitals in Dhofar province and other areas bordering Yemen.
Four of the missing were crew on board a boat that sank when the storm hit the island in the Arabian Sea, a fisheries ministry official told AFP.
Another official said that 150 families had been evacuated and moved to government facilities after downpours caused houses and streets to flood, trapping people in their homes.
Some residents carrying children tried to escape through the flooded streets, an AFP correspondent said.
In neighbouring Oman, authorities announced through the official news agency they were taking "necessary precautions" in case the cyclone hits the Gulf sultanate.
India's Meteorological Department said in a bulletin on Thursday morning that the storm was some 190 kilometers, or 118 miles, east-northeast of Socotra Island.
The department said the storm, now described as "very severe," was some 475 kilometers -about 295 miles - off the coast of Salalah, one of Oman's biggest cities.
Meteorologists anticipate the storm making landfall near Salalah and neighbouring Yemen on Saturday morning.