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Seven dead as Egypt pounded by rains and floods

One killed, one missing in Israel floods
Jerusalem (AFP) Jan 18, 2010 - One person was killed and another was missing after their jeep was swept away by flash floods Monday, the army said as unusually heavy downpours drenched Israel's southern Negev desert, The deluge came as Israel experienced its heaviest storm of the winter. The rains, which hit the desert region hardest, washed away a bridge and closed dozens of roads. A vehicle carrying three people tried to cross the swollen Arava River, but was swamped. A military helicopter managed to pull out two of the people in the vehicle, but the third was washed away, the army said. "One of the civilians died as a result of the floods and the other was in a moderate condition," a military spokeswoman said, adding a search for the third was under way. Winter rains routinely cause flash floods in the desert as water rushes through dry riverbeds, but this year's storms were particularly strong. "The amount of water in the river was enormous, tremendous," rescue worker Yair Cohen told public radio.
by Staff Writers
El Tor, Egypt (AFP) Jan 18, 2010
At least seven people died in flash floods and heavy rains in southern Egypt and Sinai on Monday, including a British tourist who drowned when his boat capsized on the Nile, officials said.

The Ras Sidr area on the west coast of the Sinai peninsula saw the heaviest flooding on Sunday night, forcing rescuers to use rubber rafts to search for injured people and those trapped in their homes.

A woman died in Abu Sweira in the Ras Sidr area and a man was killed in Wadi Adani in central Sinai and at least 13 were hurt, a security official told AFP, adding that dozens were reported missing.

Flooding blocked main roads in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh and heavy rains brought down the ceiling in a part of the airport, an AFP correspondent said.

Parts of Sinai including Taba, Nuweiba and Sharm el-Sheikh experienced electricity cuts as thousands of tourists in the popular diving resorts spent the night by candle light, in the worst flooding to hit Sinai since January 1994.

Five ports were closed due to bad weather on Monday including Sharm el-Sheikh and Sokhna on the mainland.

Two people were also killed in the southern Aswan governorate where rains and floods collapsed more than 40 mudbrick houses, police said.

The British tourist was killed when winds toppled his boat in the Nile, in the Aswan region, and he drowned, they said.

Two people, including a young boy, were also killed in separate incidents in the Red Sea governorate and near the Sudanese border when their buses overturned, police said.

Dozens of people were also injured in the bad weather, police said.

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Surrounded by floodwaters, Albanians refuse to leave home
Obot, Albania (AFP) Jan 12, 2010
Surrounded by raging waters, the villagers of Obot in northern Albania are determined to stay put to secure their modest homes flooded after heavy rains pelted this rural region for days. "If God has decided that I should die here, let it be. At least I will die in my house, with the only cow that I still have," 60-year-old Gjon Cepi said somberly from the first floor of his little house. ... read more

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