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Severe weather sweeps Mideast, six killed in Egypt

Severe weather sweeps Mideast, six killed in Egypt

CAIRO: Severe weather swept across the Middle East on Sunday, pounding Israel with baseball-sized hail, sending torrents of uncollected garbage through the streets of Beirut and killing six people in Egypt, five of whom were electrocuted by a fallen power cable.

The cable from a tramway in the coastal city of Alexandria landed in streets flooded with water, electrocuting the five, senior health official Magdy Hegazy said.

He said a sixth person, a judge, drowned when he was trapped in his car by the floodwaters. The flooding in Egypt’s second-largest city, a major port and former shipping and trade center, underlines how basic infrastructure such as drainage systems are still lacking despite the demands of a surging population.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi ordered the government to provide aid to the Alexandria area.State news agency MENA reported heavy rains in several other Egyptian governorates, with authorities closing the port of Ain Sokhna near the southern end of the Suez Canal due to high winds and waves.

Sandstorms and flash floods hit parts of the Sinai Peninsula. Cairo saw a rare rainstorm.Alexandria’s seaside corniche, once the jewel of a cosmopolitan city but in recent decades jammed with traffic, was inundated in many areas.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2015

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