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Downpours Threaten Sanaa’s Historic Mud-brick Buildings

Heavy rains in Yemen have led to the collapse of several mud-brick buildings in Sanaa’s Old City, which is recognized by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as a historic site. Residents say that more than 100 of the distinctive brown buildings with white trim have collapsed partially or completely, with many of the structures having leaky or broken roofs that allow in rainwater. There are an estimated 6,000 such structures in Yemen’s capital city, many of them several stories tall and dating back 1,000 years. The heavy rains and building collapses are compounding misery caused by the coronavirus outbreak as well as hunger and other illnesses exacerbated by a long civil war.