Massive Rains flood 11 governorates [Archives:2006/972/Local News]

August 14 2006

SANA'A, Aug 12 ) Reports from 11 governorates indicated unprecedented heavy rains and thunderstorms especially in ceaaantral and northern midlands of the country.

The governorates of Saada, Amran, Mahweet, Sana'a, Hajja, Dhammar, Raima, Hodieda, Ibb, Al-Dhale and Taiz have seen flooding many regions blocking roads between governorates and freezing means of transportation between rural villages in these governorates which host to over 70 percent of the population.

The agriculture in these areas has been damaged too by the irregular rainfall, drafting mud away from many agricultural lands and increasing the amount of absorbed water in the land resulting in damaged the crops and various.

Qat farmers have expressed their frustration as large amounts of rainfall damages the qat as the tips of the tree which are routinely cropped to be sold in urban centres become stiff and inconsumable. Nearly 40 percent of the rural workforce is involved in growing, harvesting and retailing qat, and these rains could put many out of a job until seasonal change.

Deaths by lightening resulting from thunder storms have also substantially increased with reports of 17 casualties in the governorates of Hajja and Al-Mahweet.

At Mount Yahsoub in Yarim district, Ibb governorate, heavy rains resulted in the collapse of several parts of the mountain especially in the village of Upper Mishnaqa causing several incidents of falling rocks.