Lightning, thunder, and torrential rain hit parts of Greater Cairo on Wednesday

Ahmed Morsy , Wednesday 25 Nov 2020

Water and irrigation ministry raises general state of alert to face wave of heavy rainfall in a number of governorates

Rainfall in Egypt
Rain storm hits Cairo. 25 November, 2020 (Menna Elnakib)

Turbulent weather, including heavy rainfall, lightning, and thunder hit various parts of Greater Cairo, including Nasr city, Heliopolis, Dokki, Manial, and 6 October.

Light snow was reported in some areas in Cairo.

The downpour lasted under 20 minutes.

However, traffic congestions were reported in some areas in the capital due to the accumulation of rainwater.

Egypt’s Meteorological Authority confirmed in a statement that the continued rush of cold air from Europe formed heavy clouds over northern coastal cities reaching the Delta, Cairo, and areas of northern Upper Egypt.

The authority called on drivers to be careful in places witnessing heavy rains due to the low visibility caused by rain and fog, the statement said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Egypt's Water Resources and Irrigation Ministry said in a statement that it has raised the general state of alert in all the ministry's sectors to confront the dangers of flooding as heavy rain is expected in different parts of the country.

The ministry added that all necessary preparations and measures have been taken to confront the dangers of the heavy rain through a plan that includes full coordination between all concerned parties to monitor the state of rain permanently.

This came in a statement following a meeting between Mohamed Abdel-Aty, the minister of water resources and irrigation, and officials of the National Authority for Sewage to follow up on the state of the drainage systems, the status of the lifting stations built on them, and their readiness to deal with the torrential rains.

Due to a three-day wave of unstable weather that is expected to hit several parts of Egypt this weekend, six Egyptian governors cancelled classes at schools and universities on Wednesday.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Abdel-Aty stressed on the importance of the continuation of work around the clock to ensure the performance and efficiency of workflow in the nationwide sewage departments, and on the necessity of permanent follow-up to guarantee that drainage systems are cleaned to get them ready to face any emergency, the statement said.

Egypt has no rainwater drainage network and relies on the waste network to drain rainwater.

Heavy rain usually causes widespread chaos in streets across the country.

A drainage network for rainwater would cost from EGP300 billion to EGP400 billion, according to various estimates.

The government has embarked in recent years on several national projects to modernize roads and the transport network in general.

Abdel-Aty emphasised during the meeting the necessity of the continuous removal of any infringements on all drainage systems, reporting any violations if found, sending such reports to the military prosecution to take legal action against them, and following-up on the non-recurrence of such encroachments, the statement noted. 

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