About 180 dead or missing after floods in Yemen

Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:10am EDT

GENEVA Oct 28 (Reuters) - About 180 people have died or are missing after severe floods following torrential rain in Yemen that have left more than 10,000 people homeless, United Nations agencies said on Tuesday.

The U.N. refugees agency UNHCR, which is already in the country working with refugees and asylum-seekers who have fled across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen from Somalia, said it was working to help Yemenis hurt by the disaster.

About 2,000 houses have been destroyed or damaged and power lines, roads, phone lines and water supplies have been wrecked, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia has pledged $100 million in aid to the flood victims, Yemen's media quoted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh as saying on Tuesday.

Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world and its government is grappling with a rebellion in the north, unrest in the south and a resurgence of al Qaeda, while a growing number of Somali refugees stretch its resources to the limit.

Situated at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen is prone to flooding during the monsoon season. (For more information on humanitarian crises and issues visit www.alertnet.org) (Reporting by Jonathan Lynn; Editing by Jon Boyle)



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