Rains hit Shibam historic city, Yemeni gov't seeks UNESCO help

2020-08-22 | Since 8 Month

Shibam Hadhramout, Debriefer credit

Hadhramout (Debriefer) - Heavy rains have hit the Yemeni western city of Shibam, the official government said, due to torrential rains seen by the war-torn country.

"Over 200 archeological buildings in Shibam Hadhramout city, listed by the UNESCO as world heritage, have been affected by rains," Yemen's representative to UNESCO tweeted on Thursday.

The Yemeni UN-recognized government has recently told the UNESCO about "rains' impacts on a number of world heritage sites in Yemen," Mohamed Jomaih added. "We're expecting an urgent response, since the situation is serious."

Dating back to the 16th century, the archeological fenced city of Shibam, along with its skyscrapers, represents one of the oldest and best symbol of civic systems based on vertical construction.

On 2 July 2015, the UNESCO added Shibam Hadhramout and Sana'a Old City to its list of the world's endangered heritage.

Yemenis fear their historic cities could be further hit by torrential rains and floods that, late in July and early August, partially or totally damaged 111 archeological houses of the Sana'a Old City.

On 11 August, the UNESCO announced mobilization of funding and expertise to protect cultural heritage following armed conflicts and disasters in Yemen.

The organization expressed deep regret about losses in lives and properties in some of Yemen's historic centers, including world heritage sites in Zabeed, Shibam and Sana'a.

Rain-left damages jeopardize the life of people residing in these historic centers, and climatic conditions risk the existence of Yemen's unique cultural heritage, the UNESCO said then.

It underlined the need for collective efforts to avoid further losses, and for risk-reduction mechanisms to ensure that residents of these historic centers can keep living and maintaining their heritage as they did for centuries.


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