An aerial view of Shibam City in Yemen's central Hadramawt governorate.
Gulf Today Report
Yemen’s city of Shibam is at high risk of collapse due to floods and rains in the region.
The city is called the ‘Manhattan of the Desert’ because of its ancient muddy skyscrapers.
The UNESCO listed World Heritage site is situated in the centre of Yemen above the Wadi Hadramawt valley.
This beautifully made ancient city, Shibam, is now struggling to survive.
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"The city looks like it was hit by a disaster -- without precedent," said Abdulwahab Jaber, a local official in the town, 480 kilometres (300 miles) east of the capital Sanaa.
The roofs and the walls have slowly started crumbling down due to the sun.
Restoration has been nearly impossible due to the lack of funds and loss of manpower.
Aidid said an emergency response plan in cooperation with UNESCO is under way, with approximately 40 buildings being restored at a cost of $194,000.
"There have been some difficulties," he said. "The work is slow due to lack of local skilled manpower that meets the standards."
Shibam is one of three historical sites that bear witness to the mud-brick architectural past of the Hadramawt region in Yemen.
The unique and spectacular vegetation, such as the Dragon's Blood Tree with its distinctive umbrella-shaped canopy and red sap, has earned it a listing as a World Heritage Site.
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Centuries ago, the town was much larger and connected by road to other settlements. But landslides, earthquakes, cracks and erosion have reduced its size dramatically.
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