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Heavy showers strain Egypt’s infrastructure

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Stormy weather causes flooding, evacuation of villages and building collapses across the nation

Inclement weather conditions in Egypt have caused deadly accidents and building collapses, leaving some areas of the country flooded.

After the residents of three villages in the Governorate of Assiut were forced to evacuate their homes due to flooding on Sunday evening, the governor said those affected will receive adequate compensation. Many of them reportedly lost property, livestock, harvest and several homes have been damaged, state-run MENA reported.

Further south, in the Governorate of Aswan, rain left the corniche area and several main roads completely flooded.

A small part of the arrival hall ceiling inside the Hurghada International Airport collapsed due to the heavy showers. Presidential Spokesman Ihab Badawi said Interim President Adly Mansour tasked Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal with taking necessary action to immediately repair the building, state-run television reported.

Kamal said in a statement on Monday that such heavy showers had not been witnessed in airports in the east and south of the country over 20 years. He added that Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb had ordered the formation of a high-level committee to inspect the damage in the ceiling. A contracting company has already begun repairs and they are expected to be completed by the end of this week.

On Monday morning, several streets in Cairo and Giza were heavily congested due to the collection of water, especially in tunnels and the on-ramps of bridges.  State-run Al-Ahram reported that 50 schools were closed on Monday. Several schools in Upper Egypt will also remain closed on Tuesday until classrooms are emptied of rainwater.

Under these weather conditions, at least 17 people died in two separate accidents over the past few days. The death toll resulting from a tourist bus flipping over in the Red Sea governorate en route to Hurghada has risen to nine. Dozens of passengers were injured as a result.

In another incident on Saturday evening in the Upper Egypt governorate of Minya, eight people died when the microbus they were in flipped over and fell into a canal after hitting a road bump during the rain.

In February, eight Egyptian hikers were stranded in a blizzard in the mountains surrounding St. Catherine. Four out of the eight hikers were found dead. Amid accusations of negligence, the armed forces said that the hikers should have notified the relevant authorities before embarking on their trip.

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