Torrential rains claim 17 lives countrywide

Heavy rains in several provinces Monday led to the death of 17 people, destroying public property and a number of residences. Thunderstorms also resulted in electricity blackouts in several cities and led to the closure of numerous highways, seaports and airports.

The southern Sinai Peninsula witnessed torrential rains for the first time since 1994, resulting in the closure of five primary roads, the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport and the Nuweiba seaport. Heavy rains destroyed dozens of homes in the village of Abu Soeira, where a local woman was reportedly killed and three others injured.

Electricity in the entire city of Sharm el-Sheikh was cut for several hours, including at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Hospital, as a result of the bad weather. Dozens of shops in the local market were flooded, along with the entrances to hotels in the area. Ceilings collapsed in the passenger lounges of the old Sharm el-Sheikh airport, meanwhile, slightly wounding an Italian tourist.
According to an official source, both land and mobile telephone networks were cut due to the rains, briefly isolating Sharm el-Sheikh from the rest of the world.

A 22-year-old woman drowned in torrents that fell on the Safaga-Quseir highway along the Red Sea coast.

In North Sinai, another six people were killed by torrential flooding. According to eyewitnesses, a military jeep carrying two Israeli officers was swept away by the downpour.

In Alexandria, the seaport was temporarily closed due to bad weather conditions.

In the Upper Egyptian city of Aswan, meanwhile, electricity was cut for several hours, while nine people were reported killed in road accidents, including one British tourist. More than 40 homes and 57 high-tension electricity towers were also destroyed.

The Weather Forecast Authority has predicted that rain would continue to fall until Wednesday–with heavy winds and low temperatures–over the north coast, the delta and Cairo.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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