TheNational hamburger logo

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 7 March 2021

Schools closed in Cairo as downpours lead to flooding

Authorities advise city’s residents to stay at home

People and vehicles cross a bridge above the Nile River during heavy rain in the Egyptian capital Cairo. AFP
People and vehicles cross a bridge above the Nile River during heavy rain in the Egyptian capital Cairo. AFP

Cairo was lashed by heavy rain on Wednesday that flooded many of its roads and caused massive traffic congestion.

Residents of the Egyptian capital reported the heavy rain and thunder in several parts of the city.

Authorities advised the city’s residents to stay home. Afternoon classes were cancelled at schools.

Wednesday's weather was much worse in Egypt’s coastal areas, including the Mediterranean cities of Alexandria, Port Said and Rosetta.

Images from Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city, showed flooded streets, thunder and dark grey clouds.

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly pledged 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($63.8 million) to better equip Alexandria to deal with rain.

A significant part of the money will go towards improving the city’s drainage system and to shanty towns, which suffer the most from winter weather.

Meteorological officials said wet conditions were likely to continue until Friday as more winter wind travels to Egypt’s coastal regions from Europe.

A mostly desert nation of more than 100 million people, Egypt has in recent years experienced unusually heavy rain in the late autumn and in winter.

The rainstorms have consistently inundated the city’s streets, turned its usually challenging traffic into nightmarish jams that last for hours and, in some cases, led to the collapse of shoddily built homes in poor areas.

Authorities have maintained that the cost of building an efficient drainage system was beyond Egypt’s stretched resources and that it would be too huge an investment for a problem that only occurs a few days every year.

Updated: November 26, 2020 01:00 AM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one

Most Read