Yemen storm destroys airport facade, damages planes and wounds six

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A severe storm in southern Yemen blew through the glass facade of a key airport on Monday, wounding six passengers, damaging planes and forcing airlines to cancel two flights, officials said.

The incident at the airport in Aden coincided with torrential rainfall and heavy winds as the summer monsoon season exposes the climate-vulnerable country to flash floods and severe precipitation.

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At least four children were among the six people wounded when a glass facade at an airport terminal collapsed due to the storm early Monday, said an airport official.

Two flights -- one to the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah and the other to Egypt’s capital -- were consequently cancelled, said the airport official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to brief the press.

The storm also damaged two planes and destroyed some of the walls surrounding the Aden facility, airport director Abdul Raqeeb al-Omari told Yemen’s Saba news agency.

Traffic returned to normal later on Monday, Saba said.

The University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative ranks Yemen as one of the region’s most climate-vulnerable countries.

In recent years, Yemen has seen an increase in the frequency and intensity of summertime rainfall due to climate change acting on atmospheric circulation in the Indian Ocean.

The Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country has been hit by six cyclones in the past six years, up from four in the preceding 25 years, according to a May report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Norwegian Red Cross.

The country, already grappling with a devastating eight-year-long conflict, also experienced heavy flooding in 2019, 2020 and 2021, the report said.

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