Heavy rain damages homes in Egypt's 'Paris Oasis'

Ahram Online, Sunday 9 Mar 2014

Residents of Paris and Al-Dakhla oases fear their mud-brick homes will collapse due to heavy rain overnight

File Photo: Vehicles travel in the rain in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Rain storms have damaged mud-brick homes in oasis towns in southern Egypt.

Heavy rain began pounding the New Valley Governorate's Paris Oasis at 9pm on Saturday and intensified at 1am on Sunday, causing villagers to fear for their safety.

Electricity has been cut off to avoid electrocutions, local official Adel Abbas told Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Arrangements have been made to accommodate local people in the main government building, almost the only concrete structure in the oasis.

Blankets have been distributed to the needy, Abbas added.

At least 16 homes in Al-Dakhla Oasis -- 350 km from the Nile and between the oases of Farafra and Kharga -- have been damaged by the rain, according to local government official Sayed Mahmoud.

A state of alert has been declared in the oasis, he added.

Paris Oasis is located 90 kilometres south of Kharga, the capital of New Valley Governorate. The governorate in south-west Egypt occupies 44 percent of Egypt's landmass and is home to 200,000 of the country's 90 million population.

It is home to the Temple of Isis [Dush Temple], built in Roman times. It also has a Turkish fortress, an ancient church and pottery work dating to the Coptic era.

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