- “Egypt has not experienced such weather conditions for nearly 35 and 40 years,” Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said.
- The country’s railway authority has suspended train services across the country due to bad weather.
- The prime minister’s office on Wednesday advised Egyptians to stay at home.
More than 20 people have been killed in some worst the worst flooding to hit Egypt in decades, the country’s prime minister said in a statement on Friday. The North African country has been battered by heavy rains and strong winds that began in the earlier hours of Thursday and continued on Friday.
“Egypt has not experienced such weather conditions for nearly 35 and 40 years,” Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said. “These weather conditions resulted in about 20 deaths across the country.” Five people died and several others were injured earlier after thunderstorms with heavy rains and lighting caused widespread flooding across Egypt.
Officials confirmed this as the authorities have shut down schools, government offices and an airport. A child and five people were injured when floods demolished their houses in a rural area in the southern province of Qena, where lightning ignited several fires. A motorist was also killed when the winds blew his car into a canal.
In southern Sohag province, a 35 year-old bystander died under the rubble of a wall that was knocked down by wind while a 60 year-old man was electrocuted as he walked down the street in his village in the Delta province of Menoufeya. A technician was also electrocuted while trying to fix a lightning column that went off due to the rain in the Western New Valley province, local authorities said.
The country’s railway authority has suspended train services across the country due to bad weather. The announcement came shortly after two Cairo-bound buses collided near their final destination, injuring thirteen people. In a statement by the railroad, officials said that the collision was due to a signal system error caused by the bad weather.
The prime minister’s office on Wednesday advised Egyptians to stay at home, and this prompted hundreds of people to line up outside grocery stores to stock up on supplies for the weekend. The Egyptian authorities have also closed down the Luxor International airport, a key hub for tourists in southern Egypt, as well as the Mediterranean port of Alexandria and the Red Sea port of Sharm el-Sheikh. Luxor has been the scene of scene of Egypt’s record of the coronavirus.
Videos and pictures of flooded Cairo streets were circulated widely on social media, with criticism of the government over poor infrastructure. Many complained of long power and water outages and inadequate drainage. Government supporters says the administration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has inherited mistakes of successive governments stretching back decades, and is working to improve infrastructure and develop services.
Disasters always accompany bad weather in Egypt, raising questions about the country’s poor infrastructure and dilapidated sewage and drainage systems. In October, heavy rains that slammed the capital, Cairo, and other parts of the country flooded key roads, causing massive traffic jams and leaving at least eight people dead, including four children.