Deadly Cyclone Hammers Yemen Island, Advances Toward Mainland

War-torn Yemen braces for yet another nightmarish ordeal after a deadly cyclone has hammered the island of Socotra and is reportedly advancing toward its coastline. Cyclone Chapala, believed to be a super-storm of unprecedented ferocity, is headed for mainland Yemen with potentially critical implications for the war-torn Country. The storm is expected to make landfall on Tuesday morning.

Ravaged by incessant conflict and confronting a mammoth-sized humanitarian crisis, the region is expected to endure destructively turbulent winds, as well as raging thunderstorms, that could spark widespread flooding across the impoverished region. One of the strongest storms to ever pound the shores of Yemen, Chapala is poised to ravage extensive swathes of the country and cripple its already collapsing infrastructure.

Hurtling across the Arabian Sea, initially with staggering 120 mph winds, the super storm is expected to abate somewhat as it approaches the Arabian Peninsula. The storm is believed to be headed for the port of Mukalla, which has allegedly remained an Al-Qaeda sanctuary ever since the country’s government forces retreated from the territory in April.

 (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
[Photo by NOAA via Getty Images]
Storms of this magnitude in the region are inimitably rare, making this a historically unprecedented development for the inhabitants as they prepare to bear the brunt of the cyclone’s impact. Many of the storms that have previously lashed the Arabian Peninsula have mostly originated in and around the eastern belt of the Indian Ocean and have ravaged territories situated in proximity to the Bay of Bengal. However, certain storms have leaped past the Arabian Sea, often as far west as Oman, located northeast of Yemen and threatened the regions coastlines.

The World Meteorological Organization had originally projected the storm as “potentially very dangerous,” but subsequently downgraded it to “very severe” with sustained winds subsiding somewhat to 150 kilometers per hour.

The massive cyclone has already wreaked havoc upon the Yemeni Island of Socotra, located 230 miles south of the coast of Yemen in the Arabian Sea. The island is home to nearly 50,000 inhabitants, many of whom have been evacuated to safer locations. According to Mohammed Alarqbi, who represents the Island’s Environment Office, the storm has completely overwhelmed coastal villages.

“Three people were killed, around 100 have been injured. Around 1,500 families have fled to the interior and to the mountains. There’s absolutely no help coming from the outside.”

Yemen is presently experiencing deadly repercussions of war, which has ravaged the country since September last year. According to a previous Inquisitr report, UNICEF has estimated more than 21 million people have been impacted by the conflict in the region and are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, with scores desperate to pursue safe havens abroad.

Meanwhile in Oman, a number of ships of the Royal Navy have been dispatched to the territories vulnerable to the storm in order to monitor and respond to any unforeseen problematic developments. According to an official update, the Country’s Ministry of Defense has alerted and mobilized all the relevant agencies to tackle any potentially threatening scenarios that may emerge in the aftermath of the storm.

 (Hurricane Joaquin Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
Hurricane Joaquin [Photo by NOAA via Getty Images]
Historically, two major cyclones have slammed Oman within the last decade or so. Cyclone Gonu in June 2007 and cyclone Phet in June 2010, killing nearly 70 people and displacing countless others. Earlier in June, a similar storm named Ashooba was said to be initially brewing in the southeast Arabian Sea had subsequently intensified into a cyclone and threatened mainland Oman.

[Image via Harvepino/Shutterstock]

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