New Cairo officials summoned over torrential rain ‘catastrophe’



Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 03:21 GMT


Thu, 26 Apr 2018 - 03:21 GMT

Vehicles submerged in the flooded New Cairo streets in which water levels rose over one meter after torrential rain hit hard several parts of Cairo and Giza on Tuesday, April 25, 2018 – Egypt Today

Vehicles submerged in the flooded New Cairo streets in which water levels rose over one meter after torrential rain hit hard several parts of Cairo and Giza on Tuesday, April 25, 2018 – Egypt Today

CAIRO – 26 April 2018: Even though the Egyptian Meteorological Authority has warned of unstable weather from the beginning of this week, officials have failed to take sensible precautionary measures or provide assistance after torrential rain hit several parts of Cairo and Giza hard on Tuesday and Wednesday, causing heavy damage.

Rainfall throughout the capital caused some buildings, houses and bridges to collapse; some governorates such as Suez, Ain Sokhna and Ismailia were also affected.

Many people have taken to social media and television stations to pour their wrath on the provincial officials, emergency departments, and officials in charge of drainage facilities accusing them of failure and moreover called for interrogating the officials.

The users on social media sites sarcastically shared photos of drains as great inventions that hope to reach Egypt soon, asking, “Where have the drains gone?

The residents of the New Cairo got the lion’s share of the damage. Videos and photos went viral online showing streets of the Fifth Settlement and El Shorouk city flooded in which water levels rose over one meter; the vehicles were submerged in the flooded cities.

New Cairo is a swanky suburb east of the Egyptian capital which was built in the early 2000, luring wealthy people.

“The bad weather and the rain caused one of the corridors to collapse in Point 90 Mall, located in front of the American University in Cairo. There were no injuries and we evacuated the building and separated electricity from devices,” security sources said.

Moreover, dozens were stranded inside their cars for hours on the Ring Road and the Autostrad due to forced power outages.

Actress Nashwa Mustafa shared a video on Facebook in which she showed her house in New Cairo drowned in rain asking for help after she called the emergency number and no one answered.

Mustafa then reassured her audience through her Facebook account after having called the police to save her house from sinking.

Residents of the Fifth Settlement told Egypt Today that local officials closed their phones and refused to respond to citizens' complaints. The hotline announced to receive complains didn’t work either.

They said that they suffered up to 20-hour power cuts as a result of the weather conditions.

The rainwater brought traffic to a standstill on thoroughfares, the Railways Authority announced delays in some trains as a result of heavy rainfall. The spokesperson for the metro company, Ahmed Abdel Hady also said that the electrical grid in the first line of the subway was cut off and that they will fix it later.

Traffic Police Commander Abdallah Rashad confirmed that the road leading to Ain Sokhna was closed from Kilometer 60 due to heavy rain.

Sisi reassures “the state authorities will intensify efforts to avoid reoccurrences” of such damages

“I fully understand the state of suffering that hit some Egyptians as a result of the sudden and unusual rainfalls during the last two days; I assure that the state’s authorities will intensify their efforts to prevent the reoccurrence of such incidents,” President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi wrote on his official Twitter account Thursday morning.

Government summons officials for investigations

The government summoned urgently officials in charge of drainage facilities in New Cairo for investigations over suspected negligence of duty which caused power cuts and property damage as a result of the heavy downpours.

Official sources told Egypt Today accusations are directed to local officials over failure of the sewage system in New Cairo to absorb the rain water, as well as the blockage of a large number of drains.

Mohammad Erfan, the head of the influential state anti-corruption watchdog, the Administrative Monitoring Authority went to the area on Wednesday and oversaw efforts to suction rain waters from the streets.

He visited the area in which he inspected water and electricity supply facilities; he listened to a number of workers in the electricity station explaining the reasons for the electricity cut.

Erfan said that “there’s a severe defect”, wondering how ready the state would be for another heavy rainfall.

Cairo and the Nile Delta are expected to see slightly warmer highs of 30 degrees Celsius and lows of 17 degrees Celsius on Thursday. Also, cities along the northern coast will see highs of 24-25 degrees Celsius and lows of 16 degrees Celsius. Temperatures are expected to rise by 1-3 degrees over the weekend.



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