The phenomenon is rare in this part of the world, and the worst is come. Since Friday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized agency of the UN warns Yemen and its neighbor, Oman, against the arrival on the coasts of countries a powerful cyclone, called Chapala, which was formed in Arabian Sea . According to WMO, its impact on the land could be very violent.
An impact expected in the coming hours
With winds up to 230 km / h, Chapala, which has been described by experts as “very severe cyclonic storm” could become a “super cyclonic storm” and could cause the equivalent of eight years of rain in two days in this desert region, leading to a high risk of flooding.
The latest satellite images show that the cyclone is in very strong activity in the Gulf of Aden , with wind gusts to 240 km / h on average. It could reach land on Monday.
A modeling site also allows follow the real-time progress of the cyclone
state of alert
The Yemeni weather agency urged residents of the provinces of southeast of the country, Hadramout and Mahra, as well as those of the island of Socotra, to stay at least one kilometer from the coast.
She said that ports and airports will stop work in cyclone and urged fishermen not to go out to sea and to put their boats away to avoid damage. For their part, the Omani authorities have already issued a series of alerts to warn people of potential flooding.
They also ordered the closure of schools on Sunday and Monday in the province of Dhofar, in the south-west of the sultanate. Waves up to seven meters high are expected on coast of Dhofar .
The first effects were felt on Sunday. Heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds, fell on the Yemeni island of Socotra, damaging dozens of homes. Socotra Island, located in the northwest of the Indian Ocean, within 250 km of the Horn of Africa and 350 km coast of Yemen, has 50,000 inhabitants, mostly fishermen.
“More than 80 houses were damaged on the coast of Socotra, affected by weather, and hundreds of people were rescued and hospitalized,” said Salem Zaher, the mayor of Hadibou, capital of the island. He added that “more than a thousand families were evacuated and resettled in schools and camps” inside the island, touched by the evening of “heavy rain and strong wind.”
Chapala corresponds to a Category 4 hurricane (on a scale of up to 5), according to the UN.