13 August 2020
Muddy waters lap overfoot in Sanaa's Old City, inhabited without interruption for more than 2,500 years but now facing disaster after floods that threaten the collapse of irreplaceable houses. Flooding is common in Yemen at this time of year, blighting the country on the Arabian peninsula that is in the grips of what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian disaster. The flooding has been particularly severe this year. At least 172 people have been killed across Yemen since mid-July. Torrential rains have also threatened other UNESCO's heritage sites in Yemen, including in Shibam further east that is renowned for its high-rise mud-brick "skyscrapers". In the capital Sanaa, 106 buildings, including five in the Old City, have been destroyed so far and 156 damaged.
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