24 dead in Yemen floods

The Southeastern province of Hadramaut is now a disaster zone, when floods caused by heavy rains killed at least 24 people on Friday.

Hadramaut Governor Salem al-Khanbashi said the bodies of 18 people who had drowned had been recovered in various parts of the region.

A child was among six other people who perished when four provinces in eastern Yemen were flooded in torrential rains. Witnesses said they saw bodies floating in streams swelled by a downpour that lasted for some 30 hours.

Local authorities tallied more than 500 houses that had been wiped out cross the province of Hadramaut, where 3,500 people were made homeless. The floods also caused grave damage to roads and power and water distribution networks.

Five army helicopters were flown to the area to try to rescue thousands of people stranded by the floods. Choppers belonging to oil firms operating in the area were also acquired to help.

At least 25 people were killed in Yemen in April 2006 in floods and lightning brought on by torrential rains in eight provinces of the poor Arabian Peninsula country.