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Yemen: Cyclone Gati, Anticipatory short note - 23 November 2020

Publication date

Very severe cyclonic storm Gati is moving westwards towards Somalia and Bab Al Mandeb Strait, and is expected to make landfall on 23 November.

Tropical cyclone Gati intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm on 19 November according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre. By 23 November it had become a Category 3-equivalent tropical cyclone, which is expected to weaken once it makes landfall (METOC 23/11/2020). Moderate rain is forecast across southern central Yemen (GDACS 23/11/2020), with an increased risk of flash flooding where the storm tracks (Zoom Earth 11/2020).


Socotra has already recorded localised small-scale flooding caused by heavy rainfall and thunderstorms between 22 and 23 November. No casualties have been reported, and nor have there been any reports of severe impact on critical infrastructure. Limited rainfall was also reported across mainland Yemen on the same days (Skymetweather 23/11/2020).


As of 23 November, Cyclone Gati is not expected to hit Yemen but related heavy rainfall is likely to affect southern governorates. IDP camps in coastal areas could be more vulnerable to flooding. Wind and thunderstorms could cause moderate to significant damage to homes and criti-cal infrastructure. Large waves across the north-western Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden could create hazardous conditions for fishing boats and merchant vessels. Operations at Al Mukalla and Aden ports (the main gateways for food, oil, and fuel deliveries to the south of Yemen), as well as Socotra port could be disrupted. Debris and flooding could restrict road access.

If cyclone Gati changes trajectory and heads towards Yemen, the impact may extend to Abyan, Aden, Lahj and Taizz governorates.