Scenes from the ground show how Cyclone Chapata is wreaking havoc in Yemen
Cyclone Chapata hit wind speeds of 155 mph in the Arabian Sea, making it the second strongest storm ever recorded in those waters. (Twitter)
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After months of being ripped apart by Saudi airstrikes from above and brutal clashes between Shia Houthi rebels and pro-government militias on the ground, Yemen have had more than enough problems this year. But when Tropical Cyclone Chapala hit the city of Mukallah this week, things got infinitely worse.
Yemen's been the site of fierce tropical storms before, but Chapala is unprecedented in a number of ways. It tore toward land with a maximum sustained wind speed of 155 mph, making it the second strongest cyclone recorded in the Arabian Sea. At landfall, those winds were strong enough to classify as a Class 1 hurricane, the first ever on record in Yemen.
But the real problem here is the heavy rainfall.
Like most of the country, Mukallah's desert climate means it usually sees around 2 inches of rain a year. Chapala is expected to cause at least 20 inches. That's a decade's worth of rain in only two days, and the area's arid soil is soaking almost nothing in.
It's way too early to tally an official death toll, but already the Yemeni Ministry of Fisheries says some 25 people were injured, 21 missing, and more than 50 homes destroyed when the storm made landfall, Mashable reports.
Reports on social media show scenes of massive flooding and mudslides surging through the city and its 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, intense fighting and an al-Qaeda choke hold mean humanitarian aid has not even been able to reach the area yet. In the midst of an already-devastating civil war, this is the last thing anyone needs in Yemen.
Have a look at scenes from the ground below. Via Twitter.