Heavy rains create disruption, spark flood warnings in Egypt

CAIRO: Egypt’s Meteorological Authority warned on Friday that several areas in south and north Sinai are expecting floods this week while heavy rainfall created disruption in several governorates in Egypt over the weekend.
November and December often sees streets of Egypt witnessing disruption due to the weak infrastructure and unreadiness for heavy rainfall.
On Friday, a similar situation occurred on the main Ninetieth Road with huge amounts of water filling and blocking the way affecting traffic and raising concerns, reminiscent of April’s major disruption that damaged houses, shopping malls and cars.
“We have a new director for the city and he was appointed to solve these issues after the former one was sacked, yet we are in the exact same position now,” a New Cairo resident told Arab news on anonymity.
“Roads and houses are threatened by heavy rainfall and this is a new city. It’s disappointing to see low attention from the administration of the city toward a critical issue like this. I see it coming, we will witness another catastrophe here,” they added.
New Cairo is considered one of the most affected city affected amid heavy rainfalls. Videos and photos were posted on social media showing drowning and blocked streets.
“New Cairo is drowning again … If you have cars in your garages remove it just in case”, posted Amira Mousa, a New Cairo resident.
The Traffic Police department has beefed up the presence of relief vehicles along the roads across Cairo to get prepared for unlikely incidents, while they installed radars on highways to avoid rain-related accidents.
The department has intensified coordination with different security directorates to observe roads, and report regularly on its status.
In a statement on Saturday, Egypt’s Meteorological Authority said more clouds will prevail in most areas accompanied by rainfall on the northern coast, seasides and Sinai, in addition to a significant drop in temperature.
Winds will get stronger on the Mediterranean and Red Sea, disrupting sea navigation on Saturday, the statement said.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation warned citizens of the coastal areas and Sinai of the risks of rainfall and floods, stressing the need to exercise caution and take the necessary measures to avoid damage caused by rain in these areas.
A periodic update of Egypt’s rainfall maps is carried out with a map every 6 hours, the ministry added.
The ministry raised a state of high alert, forming emergency rooms in the governorates and linking them with a central operations room in the ministry, to deal with bottlenecks and curb any risks of floods and their consequences.
Our pre-emptive work has been completed to clear the canal networks to cope with any possible floods. All the official entities have been informed of the forecast to take the necessary measures”, said Eng. Abdullatif Khalid, head of the irrigation sector.

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