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Powerful cyclone wreaks havoc on Yemen's Socotra island Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Powerful cyclone wreaks havoc on Yemen's Socotra island

Mekunu is expected to make landfall on the Yemen-Oman border on Saturday [Getty/Archive]

Date of publication: 23 May, 2018

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A severe cyclone has wreaked havoc on the Yemeni island of Socotra - listed by UNESCO as a world natural heritage site.

A severe cyclone has wreaked havoc on the Yemeni island of Socotra - listed by UNESCO as a world natural heritage site.

Soctora's governor said on Wednesday evening that Cyclonic Storm Mekunu had sunk two commercial ships, with several passengers missing and feared drowned.

"A second ship has sunk east of the capital Hadibu. Four crew members were saved and four are missing," Ramzi Mahrous said in an online statement.

Mahrous said that two people are also missing after their car was swept away by flood water and that the storm has forced 30 families to seek refuge in the island's main city Hadibu.

The governor called on international aid agencies and the Saudi-led coalition to send emergency assistance to the island, which lies around 350 kilometres off Yemen's southern coast.

Local sources told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister publication that a ship carrying 500 tonnes of food goods sank earlier on Wednesday.

Mekunu is expected to make landfall on the Yemen-Oman border on Saturday, with winds gusting as high as 180 kph.

Forecasters at India's Meteorological Department said on Wednesday that Cyclone Mekunu will intensify into what they described as a "very severe cyclonic storm."

Authorities in Oman say they are prepared for the storm to make landfall, warning it could cause flooding and damage to homes.

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