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Heavy rains wreak havoc across capital Cairo, killing 8, Egypt

cairo-egypt-flood-october-2019

Heavy rains pounded parts of Cairo (population 9.5 million) prompting schools to cancel classes on October 23, 2019. The rains also produced floodwaters that blocked many major roads and caused massive traffic jams. Eight people have died, including four children, due to the harsh weather conditions.

The eastern suburb of Nasr City was hit the worst, as well as Heliopolis, situated near Cairo's international airport. EgyptAir said the downpours caused travel disruptions, delaying flights after passengers got stuck on the roads. 

The downpours and flooding were captured by locals on videos and posted on social media.

In one shocking footage, a man on a bulldozer was seen pulling a girl's lifeless body out of the floodwater in northern Sharqia province.

School closures were limited to the greater Cairo area, as well as Giza and Qalioubia as further rainfall was expected in the following days, said the country's weather service.

The situation raised concerns about Cairo's inability to fix the capital's infrastructure, sewage, and drainage systems as residents suffered from years of poor maintenance. Locals aired their sentiments on social media, criticizing the government's lack of disaster preparation.

Five fatalities were reported in the Nile Delta provinces of Sharqia, Gharbia, and Kafr el-Sheikh, said the Interior Ministry.

Three of the victims, two of whom were children, died of electrocution. The two other victims were killed after falling from the rooftops of their flooded residences.

Two casualties were also reported in northern Sinai. According to Moataz Taher, head of the municipality of el-Hassana, a 47-year-old farmer and his 13-year-old daughter died in the flood.

In Alexandria, a three-story building collapsed due to torrential rains, killing a 7-year-old and her 19-year-old brother.

Featured image credit: @samehtanios/Twitter

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