x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Yemen aid boosts air traffic

People living near Al Bateen airbase have seen an unusual number of aircraft overhead in the past few days.

ABU DHABI // People living near Al Bateen airbase have seen an unusual number of aircraft overhead in the past few days. The UAE Armed Forces have been delivering humanitarian aid to Yemen, where flooding last month killed dozens of people and left many more homeless. Residents have reported seeing aircraft, including the C-130 Hercules, a propeller aeroplane introduced by the US company Lockheed more than 50 years ago.

"I've seen quite of few of these things flying overhead over the past few days," said Mohammed Mubarak, 33, a police officer. Aircraft noise is common on the southern edge of the capital, where aircraft seem nearly to hit the roofs of houses and apartment blocks as they take off and land. Authorities in the impoverished and politically unstable nation of Yemen have declared the Hadhramaut and Mahara regions disaster areas, and estimate that as many as 500 houses were destroyed or damaged by the floods. It is understood that the UAE's armed forces have set up a field hospital in Yemen capable of treating about 100 patients.

hnaylor@thenational.ae