CAIRO: The number of confirmed deaths in Egypt as a result of the recent floods has reached 11 Egyptians and a British tourist. There are at least 13 injured and a number of people missing since the flooding began Sunday night.
Torrential rain leading to floods hit the five governorates of North and South Sinai, the Red Sea, Aswan and Qena, with strong rains reported in Suez, Ain Sokhna and Ismailiya.
Four members of the Tarabin Bedouin tribe died Monday night in Central Sinai and three died – two Egyptian women and the British tourist – when their boat overturned in the Nile in Aswan.
The town of Al-Arish in North Sinai remains flooded, with four neighborhoods immersed in water.
Residents there are angry about the state’s inability to confront the natural disaster.
“The state has disappeared. It has not done a thing except direct traffic and nothing else, North Sinai Tagammu party member Khalil Jabr Sawarkeh told Daily News Egypt. “It builds fancy office buildings and offers no services.
Residents of Al-Arish used their own vehicles to transport sand to create makeshift barriers to block the water from entering the downtown area.
The North Sinai governor’s office, which was due to host meetings with prominent Bedouin leaders Monday, announced that it had set up an operations room to combat the effects of the flood.
In Central Sinai, six villages have been completely submerged in water and its residents have left their homes. Five ports have been closed around the country due to the bad weather, including Sharm El-Sheikh and Ain Sokhna ports.
According to the Associated Press, the heavy rains also washed away a dozen mud brick homes in southern Egypt and killed two women there. Scores of families in Aboul Rish village in Aswan slept overnight outdoors after their homes were destroyed.
In the famed monument city of Luxor, just to the north, the bad weather caused power failures in several neighborhoods and disrupted Nile cruises, sailboat and ferry schedules.
In Israel, a woman drowned when her car was caught in a flash flood in the south, where stormy weather also blocked the main road to the Red Sea resort of Eilat.
A bridge also collapsed near a cargo crossing between Egypt and Israel
Sinai is susceptible to torrential rainfall at this time of year, and due to poor or absent drainage in towns like Al-Arish, streets are often flooded with water.
Additionally, being a mountainous region, with sharp inclines and declines on the road, the un-drained water travels over large distances.
Areas on the border were also hit hard by the floods, with deaths reported in Gaza and Israel. The Hamas government in Gaza declared a state of emergency in the territory and evacuated families in the Gaza Valley.