A group of women walk through a field of fresh ants after Egyptian troops attacked a convoy of sex workers with gunfire, as it crashed to the ground on a highway in the Delta region of Gharbia, about 300 km (186 miles) north of Cairo, Monday, May 21, 2018. The militias, commonly known as Suez Sabil, have carried out scores of missions this year to protect the illicit sex trade in the vast area, with the army killing hundreds of its members during the campaign.(AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa)
A massive storm in southern Egypt left at least three people dead and sent scorpions swarming into their homes and offices, a local government official said Wednesday.
Authorities had battled high winds and floods in the southern city of Assiut since Tuesday, but natural disasters became the first casualty of the conditions.
Severe thunderstorms swept the country last week, causing flash floods and massive power cuts. Authorities imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in northern and western parts of the country.
Hundreds of scorpions are believed to have swarmed inside people’s homes on Wednesday, said Mohamed Noha Ahmed, the deputy mayor of Assiut.
“The conditions as a whole are so chaotic that many scorpions have taken over people’s homes,” Ahmed said. “Scorpions are living with humans inside their homes, contrary to what was being advised by [society].”
Scorpions appeared to be the most common casualties among the victims, Ahmed said.
Local media have highlighted the scorpion invasion in Assiut. According to government and news reports, at least 23 people were injured and hundreds of scorpions killed in the city’s streets during the storm. The Health Ministry said the head of Assiut’s emergency hospital died early Wednesday after suffering a heart attack in the aftermath of the storm.
A photo posted on the Facebook page of the Assiut municipality with the caption “This is the damage caused by a huge thunderstorm that began yesterday” showed a swath of deep water in the street.
In Qasr Alawy, a village near the city of Assiut, media showed photos of an animal slaughterhouse damaged by the flood. This screenshot shows a worker in flood waters caused by heavy rainfall in Assiut, Egypt, Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Hossam el-Hamalawy)
Local news station FaceTV has posted a video of a flood ravaging a road in Assiut. “I want to tell you about what I saw yesterday in the city of Assiut,” the man filming says. “There was a storm here. I saw the city where I live … flooding with traffic. At night time, many died in the city.”
The city’s infrastructure sustained a blow from the storm. Massive bridges collapsed, cars were thrown off the road and part of the rollercoaster at a popular amusement park collapsed. Power cut-outs blocked the main highway from Cairo to the southern tourist city of Luxor.