Cyclone heading towards Yemen picks up speed

2015-10-31 14:01
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Geneva - A rare and intensifying cyclone called Chapala in the Arabian sea is expected to hit areas in Yemen, the UN weather agency says.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Saturday that Chapala was an extremely severe cyclonic storm and could strengthen further to become a super cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours with maximum sustained wind speeds of up to 230km/h.

It is forecast to cross northern Yemen and the adjoining Oman coast around midnight on Tuesday.

The area where the cyclone is expected to make landfall is fairly sparsely populated, the WMO said. 

The organisation said the most serious impacts are expected from the very heavy anticipated rainfall in the next four to five days.

"The region is climatically very arid. There is a fear that the storm will trigger significant flooding and related severe impacts such as mudslides and infrastructural damages," the WMO said in a statement.

"The forecast rainfall would represent an extremely unusual event for the area and it is highly unlikely that the natural water courses and drainage systems would be able to cope with this amount of rain."

The port of Salalah in neighbouring Oman is likely to be severely effected.

Read more on:    yemen  |  cyclones  |  weather

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