One such leaning tower was demolished in Alexandria in 2017. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Residents of a 19-storey apartment building that has precariously titled in the Egyptian city of Alexandria have been evacuated over fears of its potential collapse, local media reported.

Built in 2016, the highrise with 36 apartments started leaning over another building due to structural damage on Saturday. When the situation got worse on Monday, the residents of the tower and surrounding buildings were evacuated for safety reasons.

Security authorities arrested the building owner, while the Governor of Alexandria has assigned a technical committee to demolish 10 extra floors  and avert its collapse. The governor said there are 164 leaning buildings under consideration for demolition or maintenance in Alexandria.

Later last month, a building collapsed in Alexandria, killing at least five women, while in March, a 10-storey tower collapsed in Cairo, leaving at least 25 people dead.

Such incidents are not uncommon in Egypt, where shoddy construction is widespread in shantytowns, poor city neighbourhoods and rural areas.

With real estate at a premium in big cities such as Alexandria and Cairo, greedy developers frequently violate planning permits. Extra floors often are added without proper permits.

The government recently launched a crackdown on illegal buildings across the country, jailing violators and in many cases destroying the buildings.