Yemen warned about tsunami sea tides [Archives:2007/1098/Local News]

October 25 2007

Ismail Al-Ghabri
SANA'A, Oct. 28 ) Japan's Meteorological Agency warned Yemen about potential tsunami sea tides after an earthquake hit Indonesia's Sumatra Island last Thursday.

A statement issued by the National Center for Meteorology said, “The tsunami's effects are expected to be strong in the Indian Ocean. Cautions by the Japanese Meteorological Agency are final information, if not modified by the source itself.”

In a telephone interview with the Interior Ministry's General Administration of Civil Defense about how it took measures regarding the warning, Mohammed N. Al-Shaba'an, director of disasters and emergency at the Civil Defense, stated, “Our administration took its own measures, including contacting all coastal governorates to protect themselves from the effects of the tsunami sea tides.”

He went on to say that it officially informed all fishermen working in Yemeni regional waters, as well as conducted a comprehensive awareness campaign for all fishermen to educate them about the danger.

Al-Shaba'an said the administration also contacted local authorities and branches of civil defense apparatuses, informing them of the Japanese weather agency's warning. Local authorities also should notify about any emergency incidents that may occur in regional waters, he added.

The administration further coordinated with the National Center for Meteorology to discover any changes in wind movements. Additionally, it liaised with all governmental and nongovernmental bodies to take the warning seriously, as well as to be well prepared for any incident by seeking facilities for rescue operations and other set-ups required in such cases.

Al-Shaba'an pointed out that his administration's tasks aren't limited to sea tides and disasters; rather, it also conducts rescues during fires, flooding and wars. As a civil defense body, it is appointed for all humanitarian tasks.

“This administration is connected to an international information network; it receives information on emergencies or any type of disaster,” he concluded.

The Yemen Times received a 2005 report from the Ministry of Water and Environment on the effect of sea tides caused by earthquakes and tsunamis in East Asia and their influence on Yemeni coasts.

The report indicated that the Dec. 24, 2004 tsunami on Indonesia's Sumatra Island caused massive damages due to its enormity, affecting all coasts east of Al-Mahrah governorate, as well as southeastern Socotra Island and the Aden coast.

Three fishermen were lost, in addition to as many as 150 fishing boats, as well as damaging fishing nets, tourist facilities and automobiles.


Yemen is exposed to environmental disasters and emergencies due to its geological and natural terrain, population growth on its mountaintop summits and mostly due to its location in an active seismic belt in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

With its unique variety of natural resources and environmental systems, which are sensitive to pollution and disasters, Yemen is more exposed to disasters and natural emergencies.