Flash floods in the Negev caught the attention of several bloggers in January. We noted them here. Harriett called my attention to an article in Al-Ahram weekly online about the flash floods in Egypt the same day.
As the dawn mists began to lift on 18 January in the small village of Atef Al-Sadat in the governorate of Northern Sinai, newlyweds Himdan Khalil and his wife found their tiny home swamped with water. They left their belongings behind to flee as the water inside their mud-brick house continued to rise, reaching a metre and a half.
“We are used to these floods but the watercourses that drain the floodwater were blocked by newly built chalets and clubs which resulted in the overflow into our homes,” Khalil told Al-Ahram Weekly. “The entire village was swamped and most villagers are now homeless””
Khalil’s devastated house was one of 3,645 homes destroyed in the governorates of North Sinai, South Sinai and Aswan. The floods left 10 people dead, two missing and 40 injured, according to government estimates. Seventy-two roads were destroyed and 13,000 olive trees uprooted. Sewage treatment stations and Arish hospital were badly damaged and part of the ceiling of Hall No. 2 at Sharm El-Sheikh Airport collapsed. In the southern city of Aswan strong winds overturned 80 high- pressure electricity towers, disrupting power supplies. Initial assessments of the cost of the damage are LE400 million.
Read the full report here.
A photo from the northern Sinai town of Arish shows damages caused by the torrential rains. Remember that this wadi was dust-dry a few hours earlier.
Arish is located one the Wadi el-Arish, generally thought to be the River [nahar] of Egypt, the southern boundary of the land promised to Abraham.
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates…” (Genesis 15:18 ESV)
The Wadi el-Arish is a few miles south of Gaza in the northern Egyptian Sinai.
Laju Paul posted many photos of the flash flood in the Negev at Through the Land of Israel III January 18. Scroll down to that date.