Torrential rains hinder border wall construction

Construction of the steel barrier along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip was temporarily suspended Tuesday due to torrential rains that fell on the northern Sinai Peninsula. Construction of a "pier" currently being built by the government–some 2km from the border–was also temporarily halted as a result of bad weather conditions.

The supply of commodities into the Sinai cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zewaid, meanwhile, were severely interrupted when the district’s main highway was flooded with rainwater.

A number of houses reportedly collapsed in the coastal city of Arish due to heavy rains, compelling residents to seek refuge inside mosques and public buildings. The city’s public hospital was also flooded, forcing patients to be transferred to nearby private hospitals.

Civil society organizations have launched a campaign aimed at collecting medicine for the stricken hospitals, since a number of local Health Ministry warehouses were destroyed in the downpour.

Suez Canal University President Mohamed el-Zoghbi postponed mid-term exams until an improvement in weather conditions.

More than 60 Bedouin families were forced to evacuate the village of Sayha in South Sinai, while a number of people were reported missing in the village of Abu Suweira, which was swept by flash-floods.

According to South Sinai Undersecretary Gamal el-Ghamri, the authorities have received no further reports of dead or missing persons in the province. El-Ghamri noted that both land-based and mobile telephone services were up and running again in Sharm el-Sheikh after a two-day interruption due to bad weather.

In the coastal city of Alexandria, the harbor was closed and all fishing vessels docked. Roads, meanwhile, remained flooded by rain, causing traffic jams in several parts of the city.

The governor of Minya declared a state of emergency in four villages of the province that had been severely affected by torrential rain.

Local Development Minister Abdel Salam el-Mahgoub said that his ministry’s operations room was working 24 hours a day in an effort to respond to reports of human casualties or material damage.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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