Alexandria raises state of emergency ahead of seasonal ‘Maknasa’ rainstorm

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Nov 2021

Egypt’s Alexandria governorate declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in anticipation of the seasonal El-Maknasa rainstorm.


El-Maknasa (the sweeper) usually hits Egypt’s northern coast between 16 to 20 November, accompanied by heavy rains and cold wind. It is one of numerous seasonal storms that hit Alexandria in winter.

In a statement, Alexandria governorate urged drivers to avoid going over 60 kms/hour and to maintain a long trailing distance. They should also avoid parking on storm drains or in places where trees might fall.

Pedestrians should avoid walking under old or rickety balconies, the statement added.

In case of lightning, people should avoid public places or proximity to metallic bodies or fences.

The governorate has also designated a hotline (114) to ask for assistance for homeless citizens who need urgent help.

The governorate’s emergency room will also be available to receive emergency and urgent complaints on the same number around the clock, the statement added.

Rainfall and thunder hit parts of Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh on Tuesday night.

Over the recent years, authorities have been working on upgrading Alexandria's aging rain drainage system, which has repeatedly failed to contain rainwater.

Alexandria was hit with disastrous rain storms in 2015, 2019, and 2020, leaving several people dead and many more injured. The 2015 disaster resulted in the resignation of Alexandria governor Hani El-Messeiri.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA) said moderate to heavy rainfall is expected in parts of the northern coast and northern Delta on Wednesday, including Matrouh, Alexandria, Damietta, Port Said, Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, Daqahlia, and Gharbia.

On Thursday and Friday, parts of South Sinai and the northern coast are expected to see mild rainfall.

The EMA also expects unstable weather accompanied by varying amounts of rains and a drop in temperature on Saturday in various parts of northern Egypt and Greater Cairo.

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