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Egypt thunderstorms bring torrential flooding, killing 21 Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Egypt thunderstorms bring torrential flooding, killing 21

The floods have brought attention to Egypt's poor infrastructure [AFP]

Date of publication: 14 March, 2020

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Most of the victims were in rural areas and slums but apartments in some of the country's richest neighbourhoods have also been flooded.

Thunderstorms carrying heavy rains have caused flooding around Egypt, interrupting daily life in much of the country and killing at least 21 people, authorities said.

Most of the victims were in rural areas and slums. At least six children died either from electrocution or when their houses collapsed on them.

Since the rains hit late on Wednesday and early on Thursday, social media has been inundated with images and video showing flooded roads and villages as well as water-filled apartments in some of Cairo's richest neighbourhoods.

Chaos always accompanies bad weather in Egypt, raising questions about the country's poor infrastructure and dilapidated sewage and drainage systems.

To minimise the impact of bad weather, the government closed down schools and suspended work in businesses and government offices after forecasters warned of continued heavy rains and flooding across much of the country through Saturday.

Late on Thursday, Cairo's Water Authority announced it had suspended water service to the entire megacity due to heavy rain overwhelming the vast sewage system, prompting fears of declining hygiene measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic. By Friday morning water had returned to some parts of the city.

The floods forced the country's railway authorities to suspend train service nationwide. Power outages were also reported in several parts of the country, including parts of Cairo.

Flooding in New Cairo, Egypt [AFP]

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