Yemen Braces for Cyclone Tej: State of Emergency Declared
Authorities in southern Yemen have declared a state of emergency as the country prepares for Cyclone Tej, a severe cyclonic storm expected to bring torrential rain, high seas, and strong winds. The India Meteorological Department has warned that the cyclone, currently brewing in the Arabian Sea, is likely to develop over the next 24 hours and hit coastal areas between Yemen and Oman early on Wednesday.
Preparations and Safety Measures
Yemeni authorities in Hadramout, Mahra, Shabwa, and Socotra have taken immediate action in response to the cyclone threat. They have declared a state of emergency and are providing regular updates to the public. Fishermen have been ordered to stay on land, and residents living in low-lying areas have been advised to move their belongings to safer locations.
Governor Mabkhout bin Madhi of Hadramout has established a committee to oversee rescue and storm relief operations. In Mahra, an emergency committee has made plans to accommodate people forced to leave their homes in schools in case of severe damage caused by the cyclone.
Impact on Socotra Island
As the cyclone made landfall, Socotra Island experienced torrential rain, leading to flooding. Images shared on social media showed highways submerged and low-lying areas inundated with floodwaters. Fortunately, there have been no reports of casualties or property damage so far.
Warnings and Precautions
The Yemen Meteorological Services in Sanaa has issued a warning predicting heavy rain, thunderstorms, wind speeds of up to 110 km per hour, poor visibility, and high seas with waves reaching seven meters in Socotra and other areas in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden.
Fishermen Ordered to Stay Ashore
Yaslem Saeed Babelghom, head of the General Authority for Fisheries in the Arabian Sea, has ordered fishermen not to sail to Yemeni or international waters since Saturday. Additionally, they have been instructed to empty their docked boats and move them to safer locations. Fish processing centers have been working at full capacity to clear all vessels of fish, ensuring a stable supply for the local market.
Yemen’s History with Cyclones
Over the past decade, Yemen has experienced an alarming number of cyclones and tropical storms, resulting in numerous fatalities, extensive property damage, and displacement of thousands of people. In 2015, two cyclones, Chapala and Megh, struck Socotra and southeastern provinces of Yemen, claiming the lives of at least two dozen individuals, displacing hundreds more, and causing destruction to farms and roads.
As Yemen braces for Cyclone Tej, authorities have taken swift action to ensure the safety of its residents. The state of emergency declaration, suspension of schools, and instructions for fishermen and residents in low-lying areas demonstrate the government’s commitment to protecting its citizens. With the cyclone expected to intensify over the next 24 hours, Yemen remains on high alert, ready to respond to any potential damage caused by this severe weather event.