10/28/2008, 00.00
YEMEN
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Death toll hits 184 in Yemen flooding

A hundred people are still missing. Thousands of homes have been destroyed in the eastern region of the country, hit on Friday by torrential rain. Relief efforts underway. Aid announced by countries in the region, and by international organizations.

Sana'a (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The death toll from the flooding that hit the eastern region of Yemen continues to rise. At the moment, 184 are said to be dead, and about 100 missing.

At the origin of the tragedy is the unusually heavy rain that has fallen since Friday in the area around Hadramout and al-Maharah, causing devastating floods. In addition to the victims, 17,000 homes have been destroyed, and over the past three days 10,000 people have had to leave the region. In Tarim, 2,000 families are sheltered in the schools, as are 1,500 families in al-Qatan.

Tons of food, medicine, and blankets have been flown in to Wadi Hadramout, and more emergency supplies are expected.

The government has declared a "disaster area." President Saleh has set up a committee to deal with the emergency. The health ministry says that it has already sent 144 shipments of medicine, in addition to emergency medicines, and has created an office for sending requested aid to the individual municipalities. A special campaign of anti-mosquito disinfection will be conducted in the areas struck, in an effort to combat malaria.

The president has set aside 20 billion rials (about 78 million euros) in initial funding. Aid has been announced by countries in the region, and by international agencies. The United Arab Emirates says it will send help, the Tadhamon Islamic Bank is sending 150 million rials (almost 600 thousand euros), the Islamic Conference Organization has promised 250 thousand dollars, and the president of the Arab Gulf Program, Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, has announced funding of 562 thousand riyals (about two million dollars).

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