Sandstorms in Cairo as Storm Daniel brings lower temperatures and rainfall

Daniel had lost much of its strength by time it reached Egypt, after bringing devastation to Libya, where 2,000 are dead and 10,000 missing

Storm Daniel hits Egypt

Storm Daniel hits Egypt
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After almost a week of scorching temperatures in Cairo, the mercury dropped by more than 12°C on Tuesday, as Storm Daniel arrived over Egypt's capital.

Storm Daniel has wreaked havoc in its path around the Mediterranean. A deluge in north-east Libya has killed at least 2,000 people in recent days, with 10,000 missing.

Earlier, parts of south-eastern Europe were badly affected.

It arrived over Egypt's Mediterranean coast on Monday evening, hours after a notice from the Egyptian Meteorological Authority. The authority said Storm Daniel has now lost some of its strength.

By Tuesday morning, sandstorms stirred up by Daniel had created a thick layer of dust and fog over Cairo, causing the temperature to drop from the low 40°C on Monday to 28°C by Tuesday.

Photos and videos posted by Cairo residents on social media also showed that light rain had fallen in some of the city’s western outskirts, particularly in the districts of Sheikh Zayed and 6th of October.

Strong winds blew across the city, after days of still weather.

The effects were more noticeable on Egypt’s north coast where some holidaymakers remained, despite Daniel's approach.

A resident of the Ras Al Hikma area along the north coast, about 200km from the Libyan border, said her home was hit by strong winds and heavy rainfall.

A video she shared with The National showed the palm trees outside her home being violently shaken by strong winds amid torrential rain.

Yet resorts further east, closer to the port city of Alexandria, experienced little more than a thick fog over the sea.

The poor visibility in Cairo was due to arrival of large quantities of dust carried by Daniel, picked up when the storm passed over Egypt's Western Desert, after crossing from Libya.

Dust is expected to remain over Cairo until the end of the week when light to moderate rainfall is expected to wash it away and usher in the cooler autumn months, the meteorological authority said.

In Libya, Storm Daniel caused flash floods and brought destruction to areas including the cities of Benghazi, Susa, Bayda, Al Marj and Derna.

In Derna, a minister with Libya's eastern government reported more than 1,000 people dead on Tuesday.

“I returned from Derna. It is very disastrous. Bodies are lying everywhere – in the sea, in the valleys, under the buildings,” said Hichem Chkiouat, Minister of Civil Aviation and a member of the emergency committee.

“The number of bodies recovered in Derna is more 1,000.”

Mr Chkiouat said a quarter of Derna's buildings had “disappeared” and that the final death toll would be “really, really big”.

Rescue efforts were under way to rescue the thousands of citizens reported missing in the wake of the destruction.

Daniel arrived three days after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Morocco. It was the country’s deadliest earthquake in more than six decades that has claimed the lives of more than 2,800, with rescue efforts continuing.

The UAE has sent emergency aid to both Morocco and Libya.

Condolences and aid were also sent by other Arab leaders.

On Tuesday, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced a three-day mourning period for the victims of both disasters.

Updated: September 13, 2023, 4:04 AM