Cyclone pounds Yemeni island ahead of landfall on Yemen, Oman coast

Men walk on a flooded road Thursday as rain and winds from Cyclone Mekunu hit  the island of Socotra.

(CNN)Tropical Cyclone Mekunu left behind death and destruction after sweeping through waters near Yemen's southern island of Socotra and pounding the island, a local official said Friday.

Landfall was expected later Friday near the border of mainland Yemen and Oman.
More than 45 people were unaccounted in Socotra on Friday afternoon, the official told CNN. And at least 11 people were killed in waters near the island when two ships went down in the pounding rain and wind, the official said.
    Winds and rains have subsided a bit in the main Socotra city of Hadibu, but the cleanup was expected to be extensive.
    Mekunu is now menacing coastal areas near the border of Yemen and Oman, with landfall expected west of the Omani city of Salalah late Friday afternoon or early evening local time.
    Socotra province is "stricken with human and material damages at all levels," government spokesman Rajeh Badi is quoted as saying by state-run news agency Saba.
    The internationally recognized Yemeni government declared Socotra a "disaster zone," Saba reported. Yemen already faces a humanitarian crisis after more than three years of civil war.
    The United Nations recently declared the situation in Yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22 million -- three-quarters of the population -- in need of aid and protection.
    Rescue efforts to find the missing have been impeded in some areas of Socotra because of the cyclone's strength, the official said.
    "Hundreds have left their homes, but the cyclone has even affected those who evacuated," the official said, citing flooded streets, disabled vehicles and power cutoffs.
    The storm had sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (103 mph) earlier Friday, equivalent to the strength of a Category 2 hurricane, CNN forecasters said, with heavy bands of rain moving ashore. The strongest winds will be felt where the eye crosses the coast.
    Mekunu could bring between 100 and 250 millimeters (roughly 4 to 10 inches) of rainfall, in an area that usually averages 100 millimeters or less in a year, along with coastal waves up to 30 feet high.