The Yemeni capital, located in a mountainous region, is prone to flooding. Sanaa’s streets quickly turned into fast flowing streams as heavy rain lashed the capital city from Monday through Wednesday evening.
Local authorities report that cars and some poorly constructed houses were washed away by the floodwaters, but no casualties have yet been reported. Pictures shared by the official Yemen Meteorological Services show muddy city streets strewn with flood debris including goat carcasses.
In response to the intense rain, Yemen’s Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority issued a number of severe weather warnings for flash flooding from April 13-15. Citizens were reminded to stay safe, avoid driving through floodwaters, and keep children in particular from playing in inundated watercourses.
Conditions eased on Thursday with only light rain predicted, allowing citizens of Sanaa and the surrounding region to begin the flood cleanup.
There are concerns that damage to sanitation facilities could lead to another outbreak of cholera in the country already ravaged by five years of bloody civil war. Yemen experienced the largest epidemic of the waterborne disease the world has seen in years when it swept through the country in late 2016.
The World Health Organization reports that cholera persists in Yemen but is under control for now. The fragile health and sanitation systems mean cases can spike again after events like the recent flash flooding in the country’s North.