Agency warns of rare cyclone heading towards Yemen

2015-10-30 17:34


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Geneva - The UN weather agency says a rare and rapidly intensifying cyclone is poised to hit Yemen in the coming days, possibly dumping more than a year's worth of rainfall on the arid, impoverished and war-torn country.

World Meteorological Organisation spokesperson Clare Nullis says forecasts suggest that Cyclone Chapala in the Arabian Sea will reach wind speeds of up to 230km/h before diminishing to about half that as it hit land in sparsely populated northeast Yemen around midnight on Monday.

Nullis said in Geneva that her agency was unaware of any cyclone ever hitting Yemen previously and pointed to the risk to schools, homes and roads from possible landslides and flooding.

She said the port of Salalah in neighbouring Oman was likely to be "severely" affected too.

Read more on:    switzerland  |  cyclones  |  weather

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