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Two dead and 19 injured in Sinai floods

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State of emergency declared in south Sinai in an attempt to prevent further damage

Flooding in the Sinai blocked roads and cut both electricity and telephone networks. (Photo by Nasser Elazazy)

Flooding in the Sinai blocked roads and cut both electricity and telephone networks. (Photo by Nasser Elazazy)

Heavy rains and floods early on Monday morning in south Sinai led to the death of two people and the injury of 19 others.

Sinai has seen a wave of heavy rains and floods since Saturday, which has led authorities to close a number of roads connecting the region’s various cities.

Sources said: “A coach full of tourists was overturned when water poured onto the road near the St Catherine Feran valley region, roughly 65 km from Sharm al-Sheikh.”

General ‘Adel Kasab, general director of crises and catastrophes in South Sinai said: “Heavy rains led to the closing of roads located on the Red Sea coast connecting Sharm al-Sheikh to the rest of south Sinai for a total of seven hours before they were able to partially be re-opened.”

Eye witnesses from Nuweiba said that the roads connecting the city to the surrounding region were partially destroyed by floods, which also led to the cutting off of telecommunication networks in the city. Water was also reported to be leaking from homes located in a series of valleys, however no casualties were reported.

Eye witnesses from the city of St. Catherine said: “[We] spent the night in isolation, as an outpouring of floods, rain and pollution led to the cutting off of electricity.”

Khalid Fowda, Governor of south Sinai, announced a state of emergency on Monday morning and closed off all roads leading to Sharm al-Sheikh and the city of Tur. All of the city’s councils and public services were put on high alert in order to avoid any accidents in the city. Authorities used heavy machinery to try and re-open the roads leading into Tur, in addition to the cities of Sharm al-Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Abu Radis.

The roads were eventually opened and traffic gradually returned, while a number of previously submerged or lost cars and vehicles were able to be retrieved.

Central Sinai also experienced heavy rains in the villages of al-Raysan, Wadi al-Amr and al-Hasna. Residents in the region said that the rains had not yet led to flooding.

The governor of North Sinai also declared a state of emergency, expecting heavy rains and floods in the Wadi al-Arish region.


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