One dead as rain, floods hit south Yemen city

Mukalla (Yemen) (AFP) –


Torrential rains caused widespread floods in the southern Yemeni city of Mukalla, where a young man was electrocuted, local official said on Thursday.

The floods added to suffering in the Arabian peninsula's poorest country, which has endured seven years of war.

The rain lashed Mukalla on Wednesday days after a powerful cyclone was downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall in Oman where 12 people were killed.

A Yemeni official said the rains caused flooding that swept away cars in Mukalla, damaged shops and homes, and knocked down electricity poles.

"At least 10 cars were swept away and (several) homes were damaged, while a young man died of electric shock," said the official who declined to be named.

The cars were left upended in water-logged, muddy streets.

Meteorologists in Aden, Yemen's second city west of Mukalla on the country's south coast, had expected a fallout from Cyclone Shaheen which struck neighbouring Oman on Sunday before being downgraded to a tropical depression.

Across the Gulf in Iran, six people were reported dead while the United Arab Emirates, which borders Oman, was also put on alert.

Dozens of people are killed each year across Yemen in flash floods caused by heavy rains.

In May, the United Nations reported that around 3,700 families had been affected by torrential rains and floods that had caused havoc in Yemen since mid-April. Authorities said at least four people were killed.

About 80 percent of Yemen's 30 million people are dependent on aid, in what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Yemen's grinding conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions since 2015, when a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in the country to shore up the government. Iran Iran-backed Huthi rebels had seized the capital Sanaa the previous year.