Flooding, Locusts Increase Food Insecurity in Yemen
Approximately 49,000 people across seven governorates in Yemen have been affected by flooding caused by heavy rainfall on April 13 and 14 (UNOCHA). Flooding and landslides severely damaged vital infrastructure (including dams and roads), property, livestock, and crops (IFRC).
In addition to causing significant losses to crops, the effects of recent heavy rainfall is expected to worsen a Desert Locust outbreak currently being monitored in Yemen, as well as other parts of the Arabian Peninsula (FAO, FAO). An estimated 14.4 million people are food insecure in Yemen, and ongoing locust infestations may exacerbate food availability concerns further by threatening crops (UNOCHA, IPS).
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Locust Watch, a Desert Locust can consume roughly its own weight in fresh food per day, and a swarm of about 40 million locusts can eat the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 people (FAO, IPS).
Although surveying has been difficult, and the full extent of the outbreak is yet to be determined due to risks associated with ongoing conflict in the country, Desert Locust swarms are moving inland from Yemen’s coastal regions, and may reach parts of neighboring Saudi Arabia and Oman (ReliefWeb/FAO).
RVA Profile: Yemen
This Week in Hazards:
- As of April 20 (0830 local time), the 7.8M earthquake that struck northwestern Ecuador on Saturday, has resulted in 525 deaths and more than 4,600 injuries. Response operations are ongoing, with teams from Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, Spain, Bolivia, and Cuba actively supporting search and rescue efforts. The strong, shallow quake destroyed or affected more than 2,000 buildings and schools, and prompted ‘State of Emergency’ declarations in the provinces of Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo, Manabí, Guayas, Los Ríos, and Santa Elena (SNGR). Concerns regarding water, sanitation, and hygiene issues remain, as systems have been severely impacted, and the health capacity stretched thin (ReliefWeb/IFRC, ReliefWeb/UNICEF).
- Areal flood warnings—those issued for gradually developing floods due to prolonged and persistent rainfall—are in effect for the Houston area of Texas, United States, due to significant heavy rainfall over the area on Monday (AlertHouston). Record-breaking rainfall was recorded at two Houston airports on April 18, and Monday’s rainfall ranked a close second in “alltime 1-day rainfall” for the city of Houston (NWS, NWS). Response operations are underway (Reuters, City of Houston).
- Tropical Cyclone Amos has spun up in the South Pacific, and is threatening to bring tropical storm conditions to American Samoa by the weekend (NASA). Recent rainfall has increased the potential for flash flooding and mudslides as Amos nears the Samoan islands, and a flash flood watch is in effect for all islands of American Samoa through Saturday (WSO Pago Pago). A high surf advisory is also in effect for south-facing shores until Sunday (WSO Pago Pago).
Current Hazard Warnings
Tropical Cyclone: Fantala (South Indian Ocean)
Flood: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, United States (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi), Bangladesh, Samoa, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, American Samoa
Winter Storm: Canada (Newfoundland, Labrador, Nunavut, Quebec)
Drought: Micronesia, Melanesia, South/Southeast Asia, Southern Africa (Madagascar), the Americas (United States, Central)
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