Highlands hit hard by heavy rain [Archives:2007/1015/Local News]

January 11 2007

By: Saddam Al-Ashmouri
SANA'A, Jan. 9 ) Heavy rains falling in eastern and western highlands killed dozens of people and damaged houses and roads. The heavy rains lasted nine days and throughout Eid Al-Adha.

Four people died while six others were injured in Mahweet governorate this past Saturday when the heavy rainfall destroyed their houses. Preliminary reports stated that 47 homes were entirely destroyed and 45 others were damaged, in addition to the damage of other property and agricultural farms in the areas of Al-Khabt and Melhan Khaffash in the governorate.

In Sana'a governorate, Director of Sa'afan District Ahmad Dahwan told Yemen News Agency Saba that floors of 95 homes were damaged while other houses were left with cracks in the walls. In Maswar district, Amran governorate, a 4-story-building was damaged, but no casualties were reported.

Houses destoyed by heavy rains in Raima governorate numbered up to 70 while as many as 185 houses are in bad conditions and locals expect them to collapse. There were 205 families evacuated from their homes.

A security source in Raima governorate said two children died in heavy rainfalls, according to Yemen News Agency. The source pointed out that the continued torrential rains caused landslide, thus blocking roads and deterring traffic from the governorate. He said the concerned governmental parties provided 250 tents, 1500 mattresses, 1500 blankets and food for the displaced locals.

A woman died in Wasab district, Dhamar governorate, when torrential rains damaged her house. Houses devastated by rains and flooding in the district numbered up to 50 while 208 homes were damaged. There were two schools and four water dams damaged, according to reports by the district's local council.

In Hodeidah governorate, rains caused a rockslide in the Protected Area of Bura'a damaging the road leading to the protected area and damaging 51 homes last week.

According to a report released by Hodeidah governorate officials, 6-day torrential rains destroyed 130 homes, 123 partially, in Jabal Ra'as district. In Hajjah governorate, a local council report estimated the property loss caused by heavy rains at YR 150 million.

The report, prepared by a Public Works Office's committee, assessed the loss of property in the rain-affected areas and said the rain destroyed 68 houses, which are home to more than 100 families.

It added that 11 water barriers and bonds were damaged or cracked, in addition to several schools, health unites and farms. Mujahed Al-Yatim, a local council member in Jajraj district, Hajjah, told Yemen News Agency that all the primary and secondary roads in the district were blocked, thus disturbing traffic. He said the damage doubles due to the changing climate around the hour.

“Special committees from our office have paid visits to the rain-affected areas with the aim of assessing the damage and helping locals,” expressed Bashir Yahya Rassam of Dhamar's Civil Defense Department. “The committee forwarded a report to the Civil Defence Department to approve compensations for people whose properties were damaged.”

Rains and thick mist in highlands in Hajjah, Mahweet, Hodeidah, Sana'a and Amran caused landslides destroying roads and farms and deterred traffic.