Islamic State wives start repatriation case in Netherlands

FILE PHOTO: Women stand together al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate, Syria, April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho/File Phoro

Islamic State wives start repatriation case in Netherlands
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Lawyers for 23 women who joined Islamic State from the Netherlands asked a judge on Friday to order the Netherlands to repatriate them and their 56 young children from camps in Syria.

The women and children were living in “deplorable conditions” in the al-Hol camp in Northern Syria, lawyer Andre Seebregts said in court.

He added that their situation had significantly worsened due to the Turkish incursion into Syria and the possibility of Syrian forces taking control of the camps which were controlled by the Kurds until now.

The Dutch government has stressed that it is too dangerous for Dutch officials to go into the camps and find the women to return them to the Netherlands.

Lawyers for the state repeated that argument in court and added that the women did not have the right to Dutch consular assistance in the camps.

According to the Red Cross some 68,000 defeated fighters of Islamic State and their families are held in the al-Hol camp. They were held under the custody of Syrian Kurdish forces after they took the jihadist group’s last enclave.

According to figures from the Dutch intelligence Agency as of Oct. 1 there are 55 Islamic State militants who traveled from the Netherlands and at least 90 children with Dutch parents, or parents who had lived for a considerable time in the Netherlands, in Northern Syria.

The court will deliver a verdict on Nov 11.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Death toll in Mozambique cyclone, floods could surpass 1,000: president

Flooding caused by Cyclone Idai is seen in Chipinge, Zimbabwe, March 16, 2019 in this still image taken from social media video obtained March 17, 2019. Tony Saywood via REUTERS

MAPUTO/HARARE (Reuters) – The number of people killed in a powerful storm and preceding floods in Mozambique could exceed 1,000, the president said on Monday, putting the potential death toll greatly more than current figures.

Only 84 deaths have been confirmed so far in Mozambique as a result of Cyclone Idai, which has also left a trail of death and destruction across Zimbabwe and Malawi, with vast areas of land flooded, roads destroyed and communication wiped out.

Speaking on Radio Mocambique, President Filipe Nyusi said he had flown over the affected region, where two rivers had overflowed. Villages had disappeared, he said, and bodies were floating in the water.

“Everything indicates that we can register more than one thousand deaths,” he said.

The cyclone has also killed 89 people in Zimbabwe, an official said on Monday, while the death toll in Malawi from heavy rains and flooding stood at 56 as of last week. No new numbers had been released following the cyclone’s arrival in the country.

Caroline Haga, a senior International Federation of the Red Cross official who is in Beira, said the situation could be far worse in the surrounding areas, which remained completely cut off by road and where houses were not as sturdy.

Nyusi flew over areas that were otherwise accessible, and some of which had been hit by flooding before Cyclone Idai.

RESCUE EFFORT

In Beira, Mozambique’s fourth-largest city and home to 500,000 people, a large dam had burst, further complicating rescue efforts.

Large swathes of land were completely submerged, and in some streets people waded through knee-high water around piles of mangled metal and other debris.

In the early hours of Monday morning, rescuers launched dinghies onto chest-high waters, navigating through reeds and trees – where some people perched on branches to escape the water – to rescue those trapped by the flooding.

Meanwhile, rescuers were struggling to reach people in Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani district, cut off from the rest of the country by torrential rains and winds of up to 170 km per hour that swept away roads, homes and bridges and knocked out power and communication lines.

Zimbabwean information ministry official Nick Mangwana told Reuters the number of confirmed deaths throughout the country was now 89. The body count is expected to rise.

Many people had been sleeping in the mountains since Friday, after their homes were flattened by rock falls and mudslides or washed away by torrential rains.

The Harare government has declared a state of disaster in areas affected by the storm. Zimbabwe, a country of 15 million people, was already suffering a severe drought that has wilted crops.

SOUTHEASTERN AFRICA GATEWAY

Beira, which sits at the mouth of the Pungwe River, is also home to Mozambique’s second-largest port, serving as gateway for imports to landlocked countries in southeast Africa.

The director of a company that jointly manages the port, Cornelder, based in the Netherlands, said the port had been closed since last Wednesday but would hopefully resume operations on Tuesday.

Two cranes would be working and the company had two large generators and enough fuel for now, though damage to access routes and roads further inland was more likely to cause a problem, said the director, who asked not to be named.

The fuel pipeline running from Beira to Zimbabwe was believed to be intact, the person said, though communication was still very patchy and therefore the situation at the port remained uncertain.

In February 2000, Cyclone Eline hit Mozambique when it was already devastated by its worst floods in three decades. It killed 350 people and made 650,000 homeless across southern Africa, also hitting Zimbabwe.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe in Zimbabwe and Manuel Mucari in Mozambique; Additional reporting by Emma Rumney in Johannesburg; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

International Red Cross steps up aid operations in Venezuela

People wait in line outside of a currency exchange house in Caracas, Venezuela, February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Committee of the Red Cross has doubled its budget in Venezuela to 18 million Swiss francs in recent weeks and is also helping Venezuelan migrants in neighboring Colombia and Brazil, ICRC President Peter Maurer said on Wednesday.

The ICRC, a neutral independent aid agency, is working with the national Venezuelan Red Cross, mainly on health projects, and not taking sides in the political conflict between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, Maurer said.

“So that is a growing operation,” Maurer told a news briefing. “At the present moment, our concern and focus is really on the one side to increase our response to Venezuelans, and the other to keep away from the political controversy and political divisions which are characteristic to the crisis in Venezuela.”

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Rescuers pull people from cars, homes in flooded New York, Pennsylvania

The top of the Empire State Building is covered in fog during a rainy day in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 13, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – More forecasts of heavy rains posed new danger on Tuesday in parts of New York state and Pennsylvania, where rescuers hauled people from waterways, flooded cars, and homes.

Following several days of heavy rain throughout the northeastern United States, the National Weather Service issued new warnings of flash floods for areas around Binghamton, New York, near the Pennsylvania border.

“Many roadways are now closed and no unnecessary travel is advised,” the Seneca County, New York, sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Citizens are urged to shelter in place and move to higher ground if they are experiencing high water.”

Video from the region showed emergency responders using rafts to pull people from swollen waterways, as well as flooded homes and cars. Federal forecasters warned that parts of the region could see as much as 4 inches (10 cm) more rain today.

“Flooding is one of the primary killers with regards to weather. It’s not tornadoes. It’s not wind damage,” said Brett Rossio, an Accuweather meteorologist. “It doesn’t take much. Even just a foot of water can pull you away very easily.”

More than 8,000 people had lost power in areas drenched by the storms and the Red Cross said it was operating shelters. It was not immediately clear how many people were in them.

Both Pennsylvania and New York activated their emergency response centers for the storms, which started over the weekend.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Scott Malone and Susan Thomas)

Tourists flee Indonesia’s Lombok island after earthquake kills 98

People crowd on the shore as they attempt to leave the Gili Islands after an earthquake Gili Trawangan, in Lombok, Indonesia, August 6, 2018, in this still image taken from a video. Indonesia Water Police/Handout/via REUTERS

By Kanupriya Kapoor

PEMENANG, Indonesia (Reuters) – Scenes of destruction greeted rescue workers across Indonesia’s resort island of Lombok on Monday, after an earthquake of magnitude 6.9 killed at least 98 people and prompted an exodus of tourists rattled by the second powerful quake in a week.

People recover a motorcycle from a damaged home near a mosque after a strong earthquake in Gunungsari, West Lombok, Indonesia, August 6, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi/ via REUTERS

People recover a motorcycle from a damaged home near a mosque after a strong earthquake in Gunungsari, West Lombok, Indonesia, August 6, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi/ via REUTERS

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said it expected the death toll to rise once the rubble of more than 13,000 flattened and damaged houses was cleared away.

Power and communications were severed in some areas, with landslides and a collapsed bridge blocking access to areas around the quake epicenter in the north. The military said it would send a ship with medical aid, supplies and logistics support.

In a message on social network Twitter, the Indonesian Red Cross said it helped a woman give birth after the quake at a health post. One of the names she gave the baby boy was ‘Gempa’, which means earthquake.

Lombok was hit on July 29 by a 6.4 magnitude quake that killed 17 people and briefly stranded several hundred trekkers on the slopes of a volcano.

The Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) said more than 120 aftershocks were recorded after Sunday evening’s quake, whose magnitude the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) revised down to 6.9 from an initial 7.0. At that magnitude it released more than five times the energy of the quake a week earlier, the USGS website showed.

The dead included no foreigners and there were 236 people injured, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference.

Residents sit outside their home with their belongings following a strong earthquake in Pemenang, North Lombok, Indonesia August 6, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi/ via REUTERS

Residents sit outside their home with their belongings following a strong earthquake in Pemenang, North Lombok, Indonesia August 6, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Ahmad Subaidi/ via REUTERS

HOSPITALS OVERFLOWING

The tremor was powerful enough to be felt on the neighboring island of Bali where, BNPB said, two people died. The first quake was also felt on Bali.

Indonesia sits on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Nugroho said more than 20,000 people had been displaced.

Among them were residents of a northern village called Mentigi, who fled to nearby hills. Blue tarpaulins dotted the landscape as people prepared to spend the nights outdoors because of aftershocks or because their homes were destroyed.

“We are getting some aid from volunteers, but we don’t have proper tents yet,” said a 50-year-old villager sheltering with his wife and children, who gave his name only as Marhun.

Ambulances with sirens blaring raced along the coast from north Lombok, but BNPB spokesman Nugroho said emergency units in its hospitals were overflowing and some patients were being treated in parking lots.

The main hospital in the town of Tanjung in the north was severely damaged, so staff set up about 30 beds in the shade of trees and in a tent on a field to tend to the injured.

A boy with a heavily bandaged leg wailed in pain, an elderly man wore a splint improvised from cardboard strips of cardboard on a broken arm, and some hurt by falling debris still had dried blood on their faces.

Chief Water Police of Lombok Dewa Wijaya takes a picture in front of hundreds of people attempting to leave the Gili Islands after an earthquake Gili Trawangan, in Lombok, Indonesia, August 6, 2018, in this picture obtained from social media. Indonesia Water Police/Handout/via REUTERS

Chief Water Police of Lombok Dewa Wijaya takes a picture in front of hundreds of people attempting to leave the Gili Islands after an earthquake Gili Trawangan, in Lombok, Indonesia, August 6, 2018, in this picture obtained from social media. Indonesia Water Police/Handout/via REUTERS

“THIS IS IT FOR ME INDONESIA”

Sengiggi, a seaside tourist strip on Lombok, wore an abandoned look. Amid collapsed homes, some hotels seemed to have shut, restaurants were empty and beaches deserted.

Long lines formed at the airport of Lombok’s main town, Mataram, as foreign visitors cut their holidays short. BNPB said 18 extra flights had been added for leaving tourists.

“I was at the rooftop of my hotel and the building started swaying very hard … I could not stand up,” said Gino Poggiali, a 43-year-old Frenchman, who was with his wife and two children at the airport.

His wife Maude, 44, said the family was on Bali for the first quake and Lombok for the second.

“This is it for me in Indonesia. Next time we will stay in France, or somewhere close,” she said.

Dutch tourist Marc Ganbuwalba injured his knee in a stampede of diners from a restaurant after the quake.

“We are cutting short our holiday because I can’t walk and we’re just not in the mood anymore,” said the 26-year-old, sitting on a trolley at the airport with his leg bandaged.

Officials said more than 2,000 people had been evacuated from the three Gili islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, where fears of a tsunami spread among tourists.

Michelle Thompson, an American holidaying on one of the Gilis, described a “scramble” to get on boats leaving for the main island during which her husband was injured.

“People were just throwing their suitcases on board and I had to struggle to get my husband on, because he was bleeding,” she said.

(Additional reporting by Fransiska Nangoy, Gayatri Suroyo, Fanny Potkin, Agustinus Beo da Costa, Bernadette Christina Munthe, Tabita Diela, Cindy Silviana and Jessica Damiana in JAKARTA, Jamie Freed and Jack Kim in SINGAPORE, and Colin Packham in SYDNEY; Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Neil Fullick and Clarence Fernandez)

Papua New Guinea aid workers race to deliver supplies as aftershocks strike

People displaced by an earthquake gather at a relief centre in the central highlands of Papua New Guinea March 1, 2018. Milton Kwaipo/Caritas Australia/Handout via REUTERS

By Sonali Paul and Charlotte Greenfield

MELBOURNE/WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Aid workers struggled to reach remote areas of Papua New Guinea’s rugged highlands on Tuesday as aftershocks rattled the region, more than a week after a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake killed dozens of people.

Two aftershocks above magnitude 5 and one of magnitude 6.7 hit the mountainous Southern Highlands, about 600 km (370 miles) northwest of the capital Port Moresby, with the constant shaking driving people from their homes to makeshift shelters for fear of landslides.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the magnitude 6.7 tremor, which struck shortly after midnight, Wednesday morning, local time.

Local media outlets on Tuesday reported the death toll had grown to 75, after government officials said previously that 55 people had been killed.

James Komengi, a United Church project officer, speaking from Tari, the capital of quake-affected Hela province, said his church’s assessment and response center had counted up to 67 deaths in that province alone.

“Mothers and children are so traumatized. Even my own children are refusing to sleep in our house. Every little movement scares them,” said Komengi.

Concerns were also growing about access to safe drinking water after the shaking destroyed many water tanks, while land slips had poured mud into natural water sources.

“Because of the landslides … it’s very dirty water,” said Udaya Regmi, Director the International Red Cross in Papua New Guinea. Provincial health officials and Red Cross volunteers were urgently trying to improve sanitation systems and carry out hygiene training to avoid an outbreak of dystentry, Regmi said.

Local hospitals had seen a number of people with stomach conditions, but it was not yet confirmed whether these were due to contaminated water, he added.

Aid agencies were struggling to get aid by helicopter to all of the nearly 150,000 people who remained in urgent need of emergency supplies.

“The logistics are still a massive problem,” said Anna Bryan, an aid worker for CARE Australia based in the capital Port Moresby.

Australia, New Zealand and the Red Cross have all pledged aid, although reaching the remote area has proved difficult as forbidding terrain and bad weather, as well as damaged roads and runways, have delayed aid efforts.

“Right now the main challenge in the affected areas is accessibility by roads. There are big cracks along the roads and even roads completely cut off. So that’s making it quite difficult to get water, food and medicine to the remote areas,” said Milton Kwaipo, Caritas Australia’s disaster response and management officer in Papua New Guinea.

The quake has also been felt on global gas markets, with ExxonMobil Corp declaring force majeure on exports from Papua New Guinea, according to an industry source, pushing up Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices.

The company declined to comment on the force majeure, but said it would take about 8 weeks to restore production.

 

(Reporting by Sonali Paul in MELBOURNE, Charlotte Greenfield in WELLINGTON and Byron Kaye in SYDNEY; editing by Richard Pullin and Kevin Liffey)

Magnitude 6.0 aftershock rattles quake-hit PNG highlands as toll rises

A local stands next to a damaged house near a landslide in the town of Tari after an earthquake struck Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands in this image taken February 27, 2018 obtained from social media. Francis Ambrose/via REUTERS

By Tom Westbrook

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Strong aftershocks rocked Papua New Guinea’s remote and rugged highlands on Monday, as the death toll climbed to 55 from a 7.5-magnitude earthquake a week ago, and is expected to rise further.

Three aftershocks of magnitude greater than 5 shook the mountainous Southern Highlands, about 600 km (370 miles) northwest of the capital Port Moresby early on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, including a shallow magnitude 6 quake.

“We haven’t slept. It’s been shaking all through the night,” William Bando, provincial administrator of Hela Province, said by telephone from Tari, about 40 km (25 miles) from the site of the shocks.

“What we experienced this morning could have caused more damage, but we don’t know … it almost threw me out of bed.”

The region had already been badly damaged on Feb. 26, when the largest quake to hit the seismically-active highlands in nearly a century flattened buildings, triggered landslides, and closed oil and gas operations.

The toll on Monday stood at 55 killed, said James Justin, a research officer at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in Port Moresby, as news of more deaths arrived in the capital by shortwave radio.

Most of the confirmed fatalities were in and around the provincial capital of Mendi and the township of Tari, he said, where landslides buried homes and buildings collapsed on families.

“People are in great fear of their lives as the quakes are continuing ever since it started,” he said. “They actually want to know when it will stop.”

While the region has no major urban centres, around 670,000 people live within 100 km (62 miles) of the epicentre, according to the Red Cross.

The quake has been felt on global natural gas markets, with ExxonMobil Corp declaring force majeure on exports from Papua New Guinea, according to an industry source, pushing Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices 5 percent higher.

The company declined to comment on the force majeure, but said production would be knocked out for about 8 weeks.

Aid agencies have said nearly 150,000 people remain in urgent need of emergency supplies.

Australia, New Zealand and the Red Cross have all pledged aid, though reaching the remote area has proven challenging as forbidding terrain, bad weather, as well as damaged roads and runways have delayed aid efforts.

“The only way for people to go out is by chopper, and it’s slow for information to come through”, said Martin Mose, director of Papua New Guinea’s National Disaster Centre, which has yet to complete a full assessment of damage.

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook in Sydney; Additional reporting by Charlotte Greenfield in Wellington; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Clarence Fernandez)

PNG declares state of emergency after deadly quake strikes rugged highlands

A local stands next to a damaged house near a landslide in the town of Tari after an earthquake struck Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands in this image taken February 27, 2018 obtained from social media. Francis Ambrose/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT?

By Tom Westbrook

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Papua New Guinea has declared a state of emergency across its remote and rugged highlands, releasing government relief funds four days after a deadly quake flattened provincial towns and buried hamlets under landslides, killing at least 31 people.

Stymied by forbidding terrain and weather, as well as damaged roads and runways, aid has not yet arrived in several large towns where it’s most needed, local officials told Reuters.

“The only means of rescue is through helicopters and they are hardly coming,” Hela province’s administrator, William Bando, said on the phone from his office in a shipping container at Tari, about 40 km (25 miles) from the epicenter.

“Our people live in scattered hamlets and people are dying slowly…A lot of people are asking for tents, water and medical supplies.”

The emergency declaration, made late on Thursday by Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill cleared the way for 450 million kina ($135 million) in government aid to flow, as well as help from the military.

“This is an unprecedented disaster and the appropriate response is underway by the national government,” O’Neill said in a statement, which also announced a restoration authority would direct recovery efforts for the next four years.

At least 13 people died when landslides covered remote hamlets close to where the quake struck, some 560 km (350 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby, an official who put the total death toll at 31, told Reuters on Thursday.

While the region has no major urban centers, around 670,000 people live within 100 km (62 miles) of the epicenter according to the Red Cross.

Most of the other confirmed fatalities were in or around Tari township and provincial capital of Mendi, where at least 14 people died and aftershocks continue to frighten residents.

“People have started to dig out and to recover dead bodies still in the ground,” Mendi policeman Naring Bongi said from his station, where desktop computers were smashed when the quake hit.

“There is no help except for those who are here going around and collecting information on casualties and such things,” he said.

“Our state of mind is not great. We are confused as to what is to be done to us in this case…the earth is still moving – it really frightens us, so we don’t know whatever to do, all the services in Mendi have closed.”

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it released $221,000 in funds to help relief efforts and would send first aid, water, mosquito nets and shelters, to the region.

Australia has also promised A$200,000 in aid, sent a C-130 military plane to help with aerial surveys, and a spokeswoman at the foreign ministry told Reuters more help was on standby, should PNG request it.

Miners and oil and gas companies were also assessing damage to their infrastructure, and an industry source said ExxonMobil Corp has declared force majeure on exports from its Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, which has been shut since the quake hit.

The company declined to comment on the declaration, but said it would “take time” for a full survey of damage, given the quake ruined roads and other infrastructure.

Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook, Editing by G Crosse and Michael Perry)

Suspected cholera cases in Yemen hit 1 million: Red Cross

A health worker reviews a list of patients admitted to a cholera treatment center in Sanaa, Yemen

DUBAI (Reuters) – The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has hit 1 million, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday, as war has left more than 80 percent of the population short of food, fuel, clean water and access to healthcare.

Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, is in a proxy war between the Houthi armed movement, allied with Iran, and a U.S.-backed military coalition headed by Saudi Arabia.

The United Nations says it is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The World Health Organization has recorded 2,219 deaths since the cholera epidemic began in April, with children accounting for nearly a third of infections.

Cholera, spread by food or water contaminated with human faeces, causes acute diarrhea and dehydration and can kill within hours if untreated. Yemen’s health system has virtually collapsed, with most health workers unpaid for months.

On Dec 3, the WHO said another wave of cholera could strike within months after the Saudi-led coalition closed air, land and sea access, cutting off fuel for hospitals and water pumps and aid supplies for starving children.

The ports were closed in retaliation for a missile fired from Yemen by the Houthis. On Wednesday, despite a fresh missile attack on Riyadh, Saudi Arabia said it would allow the Houthi-controled port of Hodeidah, vital for aid, to stay open for a month.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Cholera claims unborn children as epidemic spreads Yemen misery

Children wait to be treated at a cholera treatment center in Sanaa, Yemen May 15, 2017. Picture taken May 15, 2017.

By Abduljabbar Zeyad

HODEIDAH, Yemen (Reuters) – One of the latest victims of the cholera epidemic that has killed more than 2,000 people in Yemen had yet to even take her first breath.

Her mother Safaa Issa Kaheel, then nine months pregnant, was brought into a crowded clinic in the Western port city of Hodeidah by her husband, who had to borrow the travel fare from a neighbor. “My stomach started hurting more and more,” said Kaheel, 37, a hydrating drip hooked into her arm.

Once there, she was referred by nurse Hayam al-Shamaa for an ultrasound scan which showed her baby had died of dehydration – one of 15 to perish in the womb due to cholera in September and October, according to doctors at the city’s Thawra hospital.

“I felt like death,” Kaheel said, her voice strained. “Thank god I survived the (delivery), but my diarrhea hasn’t stopped.”

The Red Cross has warned that cholera, a diarrheal disease that has been eradicated in most developed countries, could infect a million people in Yemen by the end of the year.

Two and a half years of war have sapped Yemen of the money and medical facilities it needs to battle the contagion, to which aid agencies and medics say the poor, the starving, the pregnant and the young are most vulnerable.

The cholera ward is full of children – some writhing in agony, others eerily still. The blanket over one boy too weak to move rises and falls with his shallow breathing.

Save the Children said in August that children under 15 represent nearly half of new cases and a third of deaths, with malnourished children more than six times more likely to die of cholera than well-fed ones.

Millions of Yemenis are struggling to find food and the baking desert plains around Hodeidah are hotspots both of hunger and sickness.

Yemen’s war pits the armed Houthi movement against the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition that has launched thousands of air strikes to restore him to power.

At least 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

The country’s health sector has been badly battered while a struggle over the central bank has left public sector salaries for doctors and sanitation workers unpaid.

Soumaya Beltifa, spokesperson for the Red Cross in Sanaa, warned that a lack of funds and health personnel were blunting efforts to eradicate the disease, making it unlikely Yemen would be healthy again soon.

“The cholera epidemic has become a norm, leading to complacency in dealing with the disease, not only by civilians but also from the various (aid) organizations,” she warned.