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Yemen's heavy rains destroy 5 heritage buildings in historic Old City of Sanaa

Photo taken on Aug. 10, 2022 shows a building badly damaged in days of heavy rainfall in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen. (Photo by Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua)

SANAA, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Heavy rains in Yemen have destroyed five buildings and damaged 40 others at the world heritage site of the Old City of Sanaa, Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported on Thursday.

No casualties have been reported in those historic tower buildings which are private houses and still inhabited by families.

Photo taken on Aug. 10, 2022 shows a building badly damaged in days of heavy rainfall in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen. (Photo by Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua)

Built before the 11th century, the over 6,000 mud-brick tower houses are decorated with geometric patterns of white plaster and stained glass windows.

The old city of Sanaa, inhabited for more than 2,500 years, was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1986. It was added to the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2015 after the eruption of the civil war.

Photo taken on Aug. 10, 2022 shows a building badly damaged in days of heavy rainfall in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen. (Photo by Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua)

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million, and pushed the poorest Arab country to the brink of starvation. ■