Saunderton, November 9, 2015 — MapAction has announced that two MapAction volunteers are travelling to Muscat, Oman, to support humanitarian efforts following the impact of Tropical Cyclone Chapala in Yemen. They will be working in partnership with the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team to help coordinate and target the humanitarian response.
At the beginning of November, Yemen was struck by the most powerful storm seen in the country for decades. Cyclone Chapala brought hurricane-force winds, torrential rain and high waves to the south Yemen coastline. This has resulted in severe flooding and widespread damage, particularly affecting communities on the island of Socotra and the mainland governorates of Shabwah and Hadramaut. According to the United Nations, up to 1.1 million people are thought to be affected. There are also concerns that continued rain and forecasts of further storms will exacerbate the already precarious situation.
Because tropical cyclones are rare in Yemen, the government and communities have limited capacity to respond to an emergency of this scale. Since March 2015 the country has also been experiencing widespread armed conflict, which has now been classified by the United Nations as a Level 3 emergency – used only for the most severe and large-scale humanitarian crises. The arrival of Cyclone Chapala has therefore brought further misery and suffering for already vulnerable communities.
MapAction is a charity that provides life-saving information about disaster situations in the form of maps. It is the only non-governmental organisation (NGO) anywhere in the world with a capacity to deploy a fully trained and equipped humanitarian mapping and information management team, often within a few hours of an alert. Its highly-skilled volunteers play a vital role in helping to coordinate the national and international emergency response by gathering information such as:
· Which communities are in the greatest need?
· What are their priority needs?
· How can aid agencies best reach them?
MapAction’s aim is to help to get aid delivered quickly and effectively to the people who need it most. www.mapaction.org