Record number of babies born on hospital’s one-year anniversary
November 7, 2015 was a record day in Yemen. A NICE record this time. Doctors Without Borders set a record at its mother and child hospital in Taiz for most babies delivered in a single day. 24 babies were born that day with the maternity ward so busy that they had to use ER beds. This Doctors Without Borders hospital is the only one in the area providing free maternal and child healthcare.
However, not all hospitals operated by Doctors Without Borders have had such good record news to report. Others have been the targets of Saudi-led coalition airstrikes. ((The 5th photo in this slideshow might be graphic so don’t click that far if you don’t want to see a hand peaking out from under the rubble.))
2016 sets a new record for migration in Yemen
111,504 refugees and migrants, mostly from Horn of Africa countries (Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan) arrived in Yemen in 2016, despite the ongoing conflict. The previous record was 107,532 in 2012. Migrants are supposedly aware of the conflict in Yemen, where 80% of the population is in need of humanitarian aid, but still wish to make the crossing into the country and might wish to pass through to Saudi Arabia. Ethiopia too, where a majority of the migrants come from, has its own problems too with drought and political conflict. Meanwhile, Yemeni civilians are trying to flee the conflict in their own country.
Yemen’s first cyclone on record fueled by record-warm sea-surface temperatures
According to The Weather Channel, there is no category 4 cyclone on record tracking as far south in the Arabian Sea as Cyclone Chapala. The last cyclones to hit Yemen had winds roughly measuring at 55 mph. A category 4 cyclone can have winds between 130-156 mph, with Chapala measuring towards the higher end before landfall.
Sea surface temperatures along the path of Cyclone Chapala were at record levels.
It had rapidly intensified to a high-end Category 4 early Friday and remained in that Category through most of Saturday. This made Chapala the strongest tropical cyclone so far south in the Arabian Sea on record.
The cyclone made landfall near Yemen’s 5th largest city Al Mukalla, after killing at least three on Yemen’s Socotra islands.
“It is difficult to overstate the rarity and gravity of this event: a hurricane-strength storm striking near a large, ancient city, situated near mountains, with no modern experience in dealing with tropical cyclones. Although Hurricane Patricia got much more media attention, Chapala may end up bringing more damage and misery by far.”