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Cyclone killed eight in southeastern Yemen: official
by Staff Writers
Aden (AFP) Nov 5, 2015

58 Iraqis died of electrocution during heavy rains: ministry
Baghdad (AFP) Nov 5, 2015 - Fifty-eight Iraqis died of electrocution during heavy rains and flooding last week, the health ministry said Thursday, illustrating the dangers posed by the country's dilapidated infrastructure.

The 58 "died of electric shocks," spokesman Ahmed al-Ridaini told AFP.

The sewer system was overwhelmed by several days of downpour, leading to widespread flooding in Baghdad and other parts of the country, and with some areas still flooded days after the rain stopped.

The flooding combined with decrepit electricity infrastructure to pose deadly danger, and videos posted online showed the bodies of people purportedly electrocuted being fished out of flooded streets.

As more rain fell Thursday, the electricity ministry issued a warning for citizens to "be careful with the distribution networks that include wires, poles and transformers."

Because government-provided power falls far short of demand, many streets in Iraq are criss-crossed by spiderwebs of dozens of haphazardly strung wires linking homes and shops to private generators.

Government electricity provision -- which falls to just a few hours a day during the summer, when temperatures top 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) -- has been a major source of discontent in Iraq.

Anger over poor services and rampant corruption sparked weeks of protests earlier in the year. Reforms have been announced, but little in the way of significant change has occurred so far.

Eight people were killed in southeastern Yemen by a rare tropical cyclone that wreaked havoc in parts of the war-torn country this week, a local official said Thursday.

The deaths, five by drowning and three in collapsed homes, occurred in Hadramawt province between Tuesday and early Wednesday, before Cyclone Chapala eased into a depression, said Mohammed al-Amudi of the governorate's technical affairs department.

Forty people were also injured over the two days, Amudi said.

Around "3,000 families were displaced during the cyclone," he said, reporting "massive destruction" of the province's infrastructure.

Cyclone Chapala weakened Wednesday after making landfall Tuesday in mainland Yemen, triggering heavy flash floods after severely striking the country's Arabian Sea island of Socotra.

Weather was back to normal on Thursday.

More than 200 people were injured and dozens of houses and hamlets severely damaged or washed away when Chapala hit Socotra, according to Salem Zaher, mayor of the island's main district Hadibo.

Socotra is 350 kilometres (210 miles) off the Yemeni mainland.

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has cited reports of three fatalities and 34 injured in Yemen due to the cyclone.

The UN said Tuesday that at least 1.1 million people, mainly in the provinces of Hadramawt and Shabwa, were expected to be affected by Chapala.

Yemen has been riven by conflict since Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels seized control of the capital Sanaa in September last year and advanced on other parts of the country.

A Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against the rebels in March in support of a fightback by forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the Huthi advance to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch has been in control of much of Hadramawt provincial capital Mukalla since April.

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Previous Report
Rare cyclone batters war-torn Yemen
Aden (AFP) Nov 3, 2015
A rare tropical cyclone has slammed into Yemen, triggering heavy flooding and causing "enormous" damage in a region of the war-racked country dominated by Al-Qaeda, a senior official said Tuesday. Packing winds of more than 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour, Cyclone Chapala made landfall in the southeastern provinces of Hadramawt and Shabwa, Minister of Fisheries Fahd Kafain told AFP. " ... read more

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