Cairo: Residents of an upmarket suburb of the Egyptian capital have taken to the social media and television stations to pour their wrath on governmental officials after torrential rain this week hard hit their neighbourhood, causing heavy damage.
Videos went viral online, purportedly showing vehicles submerged in flood-hit streets in New Cairo, a swanky suburb east of the Egyptian capital.
The downpours, which battered New Cairo, mainly its Fifth Settlement quarter, forced power outages and stranded dozens inside cars for hours.
“Cars have drowned in the [rain] waters,” Suheir Abdul Hamid, a resident of the Fifth Settlement, told private Egyptian television Dream.
“We called the city hall, but no-one answered us. We can’t have access to our houses because of the flooding,” she added.
“It’s no use. Some rain caused a massive mess. Where have gone the millions [of pounds] spent on infrastructures in the area?” said Mohammad Yehia, a second resident.
“Where have the drains gone?” he asked in a Facebook post.
“Almost the entire Fifth Settlement has sunk. Really, it’s a luxury place!” a local, calling herself Nevo Gamal, commented sarcastically on the Facebook.
New Cairo was built on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital in early 2000, luring wealthy people, seeking refuge from the din of age-old Cairo.
An estimated 500,00 people are residing in New Cairo, which is believed to be frequented by up to 1 million others a day as workers and students at several private universities there.
As reports about the destructive downpours made local headlines, senior government officials went to the area and oversaw efforts to pump rain waters from the streets.
Mohammad Erfan, the head of the influential state anti-corruption watchdog, the Administrative Monitoring Authority, visited the area on Wednesday and inspected water and electricity supply facilities there, state television reported.
During the tour, Erfan listened to complaints of some residents there, the broadcaster added.
MP Ebrahim Hegazy called the situation a “catastrophe”.
“What happened is a catastrophe by all means,” Hegazy, who represents New Cairo in the parliament, said in media remarks.
“What happened was that the infrastructures there have collapsed.”
He urged that officials in charge of drainage facilities in New Cairo be interrogated.
Hegazy and other lawmakers said they will grill the government on what they described as inefficient drainage networks in new communities and other parts of Egypt hard hit by this week’s heavy rain- unusual in Egyptian spring.
Semi-official newspaper Al Ahram, citing unidentified sources, reported that some local officials in New Cairo will be referred to prosecution over suspected negligence of duty.
The rainfall forced authorities to close some highways in the country for motorists’ safety. One man was reportedly killed by lightning in the Delta province of Menufia.
Egypt’s meteorology office said that the weather will improve starting from Friday.