One killed and two injured as sandstorms hit Egypt on Thursday

Ahram Online , Thursday 1 Jun 2023

One person was killed and two injured on Thursday after a billboard collapsed on vehicles travelling on the October Bridge in Central Cairo, as strong winds and a sandstorm wreaked havoc in the capital and around the country.

Police and civil defence gather as a collapsed billboard is removed from the October 6 overpass bridge in the Ghamra neighbourhood in central Cairo on June 1, 2023 during a sandstorm. AFP


According to Ahram Arabic news website, a billboard collapsed on a car and a motorcycle travelling on the October bridge near El-Demerdash Metro Station, resulting in injuries.

Multiple ambulance vehicles were dispatched to the accident scene to transport those injured to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Social media users shared photos of some billboards that collapsed on major roads in New Cairo and the Suez-Cairo Road.

Earlier on Thursday, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA) advised the public to avoid direct contact with sunlight and wear face masks outdoors in the next two days due to strong winds, sandstorms and a heatwave.

Ports close  

The Suez Canal Economic Zone announced Thursday that it was closing El-Arish Port on the Mediterranean due to unstable weather conditions, high wind speeds, and elevated sea waves.

The Red Sea Ports Authority also announced closing the ports of Suez and Zeitiyat in Suez Governorate, effective 4 p.m. Thursday, due to severe weather conditions.

It reported that wind intensity ranged between 24-26 knots from the southwest, accompanied by wave heights of 3-4 metres and a sandstorm.

The Red Sea Ports Authority added that all maritime navigation and activities were suspended to ensure maritime safety.

What to expect

Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said in a statement that the ministry's Early Warning System projects that strong winds propelling more sandstorms will continue on Friday, 2 June, in some areas of Greater Cairo, the North Coast and Upper Egypt.

Fouad noted that the environment ministry constantly monitors air quality indicators through a system deployed in Egypt. 

She urged elderly citizens and those with respiratory diseases to temporarily refrain from outdoor activities to avoid the strong winds that stir up sand and dust.

The Ministry of Environment's Central Operations Room operates a 24/7 hotline – 19808 – to receive any complaints from citizens about sources of air pollution, Fouad noted.

Short link: