Yemen received some rare good news in September when the UN announced it had finally reached the threshold (retroactively reduced from $80 to $75 million) to begin the first phase of the operation to salvage the FSO Safer. Despite the expiration of the truce, preparations surrounding the FSO Safer operation appeared to continue in early October.
Although weather conditions improved compared to August, flooding and torrential rains continued to affect areas across the country in September, with several civilians killed in flooding or lightning storms.
On September 19, the UN announced that it had finally reached its pledging goal for the first, US$75 million phase of the emergency operation to salvage the deteriorating floating storage and offloading unit FSO Safer, after Liesje Schreinemacher, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, announced a new $7.5 million donation from the Netherlands during a trip to Yemen on September 17. However, the UN noted that some donors have yet to transfer pledged funds for the first phase to begin. UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen David Gressly met with Houthi leadership concerning the operation on 4 October; as of that time, the operation is expected to be operated out of Djibouti.
Flooding in Yemen
On September 7, a young man was killed and three others injured in a lightning storm in Jabal Jalis, in the northern Al-Qubaytah district of Lahj. On September 14, torrential rains flooded Al-Dhalea’s Al-Azariq district, sweeping away cars, and a family was killed when their car was carried away in a flash flood in Shabwa’s eastern Haban district. The same day, a mother and her three children were killed in a fire after lightning struck electricity cables near their home in the village of Al-Thamri, in Lahj’s eastern Radfan district. On September 18, torrential rains swept away a family driving a car in the city of Al-Habileen, in the Radfan district of Lahj governorate.
A woman and three children were killed. On September 27, torrential flooding occurred through Wadi Ahawr in the east of the Ahwar district in east Abyan governorate. The flooding forced the closure of the International Coast Road to Aden and Hadramawt. Local security services appealed to travelers not to attempt the road and to follow the mountain route through the Arqoub area until the water subsides and repairs can be made.