Yemeni government faces cyclone ‘catastrophe’

Cairo: The Yemeni government said on Saturday it is facing an “unprecedented catastrophe” resulting from a tropical cyclone that hit the east of the war-devastated country earlier this month.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malek said that his tours of several parts of the eastern province of Mahra and reports from local officials have pointed to an “unprecedented catastrophe”.

Cyclone Laban struck Mahra, displacing thousands of families and wreaking massive havoc there amid a worsening situation in Yemen resulting from a 2014 coup staged by Iran-allied Al Houthi militants against the internationally recognised government.

An Arab Saudi-led alliance is supporting Yemeni forces’ campaign against Al Houthis.

“The government will work to address the consequences of Laban and coordinate efforts with the Arab coalition in order to start a rebuilding process and bringing things to a situation better than it was in the province,” Abdul Malek said, according to Yemen’s official news agency Saba.

He added that his government would launch a call for assistance to the international community and “brotherly and friendly” countries.

This month, Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi sacked Prime Minister Ahmad bin Daghr and appointed Abdul Malek in his place. Hadi accused Daghr’s government of failing to take proper measures ahead of the cyclone, which also killed at least 15 people and caused massive damage in Mahra.

Abdul Malek arrived in the province on Wednesday for an inspection tour.

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