Yemen: Death toll from tropical storm Luban rises to 12

Health official warns of cholera and malaria outbreaks unless action is taken to address stagnant waters.

Map of Yemen''s Al Mahrah province

The death toll from tropical storm Luban that struck war-torn Yemen’s eastern province of al-Mahra has risen to 12, a local health official has said.

Awad Mubarak told the Anadolu Agency on Sunday that 126 people were also reported injured after three days of heavy rain lashed the province between October 15 and 17.

Mubarak warned of a possible outbreak of diseases due to stagnant water caused by widespread flooding.

“We are concerned that diseases such as cholera and malaria could spread unless immediate action is taken to address the stagnant waters,” he said.

Last year, more than one million Yemenis were infected with cholera and more than 2,200 deaths were reported.

Cholera is waterborne and spreads quickly in areas where sanitation is poor and access to clean drinking water is lacking.

The United Nations reported earlier this week that coastal areas of al-Mahrah had been the hardest hit, with around 2,000 families affected.

With winds ranging between 56 kilometres per hour and 83km/h, Luban lashed the province after sparing neighbouring Oman from a direct onslaught.

The UN said the main hospital in Qishn town had not been functional since 16 October, while in al-Masilah district 30 houses were destroyed and another 32 damaged by flooding.

Yemen has been struck by five tropical storms since 2014 when Houthi rebels overran much of the country.

In May, Cyclone Mekunu smashed into southern Oman and the Yemeni island of Socotra, killing at least 11 people.

The war in Yemen has brought the country’s already poor healthcare system to its knees with many hospitals unable to help patients due to a lack of appropriate medicine and damage to equipment caused by air attacks by a Saudi-UAE coalition battling the country’s Houthi rebels.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies