ANKARA 

Turkey offered its condolences Wednesday to Yemen over floods triggered by heavy rains which killed at least 17 people in eastern Marib province.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it learned with regret that the floods caused casualties and severe damage in Marib, which is currently facing a “major humanitarian disaster.”

“We wish Allah’s mercy for those who lost their lives in the disaster, condolences to the friendly and brotherly Yemeni people, and a fast recovery to the wounded,” it added.

The tragedy occurred early Tuesday, and the Health Ministry’s office in Marib said eight children were among the dead.

A state of emergency was declared at all hospitals in the region.

The Yemeni government has called on the UN to help those suffering from floods in various provinces in the country.

Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in March 2015 after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sana’a and forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee the country.

More than five years of conflict have left thousands of civilians dead and 3.65 million internally displaced, according to the UN.

Nearly half of Yemen’s over 30 million people need immediate assistance to sustain or save their lives.

The World Food Programme says that despite ongoing humanitarian assistance, at least 15.9 million people wake up hungry every day.

It is estimated that in the absence of food assistance, this number would rise to 20 million.

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