Deadly flash floods hit Egypt's Alexandria

2015-10-26 16:49
Floodwater after heavy rainfall in the coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt. (Heba Khamis, AP)

Floodwater after heavy rainfall in the coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt. (Heba Khamis, AP)

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Doha - At least seven people have died after heavy rain fell in the Egyptian Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

Torrential rain began falling in the early hours of Sunday, and was accompanied by strong winds.

A frontal depression has brought unseasonably unsettled weather to much of the eastern Mediterranean.

The northern portion of the depression brought very heavy rain across Turkey.

Through Thursday and Friday, 246mm of rain fell in Marmaris on the south coast. This is five times as much rain as would normally be expected during the entire month of October.

The rain along Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline was also unseasonable. Alexandria would usually only expect to see 5mm of rain during the entire month.

It is not known exactly how much rain fell in Alexandria. The official rain gauge reported little or no rain during the period in question. However, images showed people wading through thigh-deep water after the event.

It is reported that the deaths of a man and two children were caused by a live electric cable, that was feeding the tram network, falling into the water.

Another man was electrocuted in a separate incident, and a motorist drowned when he was unable to get out of his vehicle in time.

In the wake of the flooding, there was criticism of the poor drainage system within the city and calls for the city’s governor, Hani al-Messirial-Messiri, to resign.

The governor subsequently called the flooding an "environmental catastrophe" shortly before having his resignation accepted by the country's president.

The frontal depression has now swept eastwards, bringing heavy rain to Jordan and Syria.

In the coming days, northwestern Iran looks to be most at risk from heavy rain.

As much as 150mm could fall across the region, bringing the risk of flash floods.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa  |  weather

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