Houthi officials said 10 buildings were destroyed in Yemen’s capital’s Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The country’s Houthi rebels say heavy rains have ravaged Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, in recent days, dating back to ancient times, causing 10 buildings in the old city to collapse.
At least 80 other buildings were badly damaged in the rain and needed urgent repairs, and insurgents have taken control of Sana’a since the outbreak began Yemeni Civil War Eight years ago, Wednesday said.
The old city of Sana’a is a UNESCO World Heritage. The area is believed to have been inhabited for over two thousand years. Its architecture is unique, with the foundation and first floor made of stone, and the subsequent floors made of brick – considered the world’s first high-rise building.
The red brick façades of the buildings, adorned with ornately patterned white plaster moldings, have been compared to the gingerbread houses that have become a symbol of Yemen’s capital. Many of the houses are still private residences, some more than 500 years old.
Abdullah al-Kabsi, the Houthi government’s culture minister, said in a statement that the rebels were cooperating with international organizations and seeking help to deal with the devastation. No deaths or injuries from the collapse were immediately reported.
The homes have stood for centuries, but this season’s heavy rains have proved too much for the iconic building. Bricks and wooden beams now form a mass of rubble between the still standing structures.
“When I heard the sound of rain and prayed to God, I was scared because I was afraid my house would collapse on me,” the resident said. ancient city.
Given the region’s history, Al-Kabsi insists that UNESCO has some responsibility for the salvage and restoration efforts. He added that years of neglect by the previous government had taken its toll.
The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to push back the Houthis, which had taken over much of the country, including Sana’a, and restored an internationally recognised reputation for being driven out of the capital by rebels government.
Earlier this month, the warring sides agreed to extended truce Another two months have been implemented since April.
Some observers say the Sanaa airstrike was Saudi-led coalition May have shaken historic buildings and damaged their foundations. But lack of maintenance is the biggest problem, according to Mohamed al-Hakeemi, head of The Green Dream, a local group specializing in Yemen’s environmental issues.
A 2021 initiative restored hundreds of homes and rebuilt more than a dozen — the first major repairs since the war began.