Babylon & Beyond

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EGYPT: Heavy rains, flooding kill 15

January 19, 2010 |  7:24 am

ASWAN_PIXEL_SIZE_38_674153aDownpours and heavy flooding have killed six people in the Sinai peninsula and nine others in Aswan in some of the worst storms in over a decade. Rain fell and lightening flashed across Egypt on Sunday, and more than 40 homes and 57 electrical towers have collapsed in cities and villages.

The resorts of Taba, Nuweiba and Sharm el Sheik on the Red Sea had temporary blackouts, and visitors spent Sunday evening lighting candles. The Sharm el Sheik airport was closed for several hours after rains destroyed part of its ceiling, and the city's main telephone communications center was severely damaged.

The general authority for Red Sea ports said that the ports of Ain Sokhna, Al Adbeya, El Ataka, El Zayteyat and Port Tawfik are all closed because of the bad weather.

In Aswan, police said a British tourist drowned after a yacht overturned on the Nile. Power outages put the entire city in darkness. Nearby villages were hard hit as the mud-brick houses of peasants were swept away by flood waters and hundreds were ordered to evacuate.

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo

Photo: Damaged houses in Aswan. Credit: Associated Press