Egyptian storm sparks bizarre scorpion mob

Image copyright EPA Image caption Shivaay Maza, left, was bitten by a scorpion while fixing the roof of his room A freak super-storm in Egypt has prompted locals to search for creatures in the…

Egyptian storm sparks bizarre scorpion mob

Image copyright EPA Image caption Shivaay Maza, left, was bitten by a scorpion while fixing the roof of his room

A freak super-storm in Egypt has prompted locals to search for creatures in the streets, with several dead bodies reported of dead scorpions falling from roofs.

Thousands of people in Rafah in the north of the country, on the border with Gaza, spent the night trying to catch creatures in their homes and the streets, to be sterilised and kept as pets.

Some residents told Egyptian TV they had never seen anything like it.

Egypt has endured a cold spell for several days, which has led to widespread power outages and public transport problems.

The super-storm hit the seaside city on Sunday, dumping 6cm (2.2in) of rain in a two-hour period, BBC world affairs analyst Jessica Murray said.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Two men in Gaza try to grab a scorpion, which they killed

Authorities in the North Sinai province have said a massive dust storm has also been affecting the area.

Ziad Nakhla, general director of the region’s telecommunications authority, said that the dust has “spread very fast, reaching maximum strength in a few minutes”.

Mr Nakhla told BBC Arabic that staff “preserved” communication centres by laying sandbags in front of the keys, but communications were still not working properly.

He added: “That’s all of us right now, we lost all our equipment.”

Egypt’s state-run Egyption flag carrier EgyptAir said its flights to and from the Sinai have been disrupted.

Image copyright EPA Image caption A scorpion falls from the roof of a house in the town of Behesht, Egypt, with an empty water tank nearby

Near Rafah, local official Brigadier General Ahmed Abdullah told reporters that 3,000 people had sought help from the army, emergency services and police in helping to disinfecting houses and open drains in the middle of the night.

In Rafah, The Local newspaper reported that locals responded with water jets, and green-infused green paint to ward off the insects.

Video caption Gigantic dust storm hits north Sinai, Egypt

After several days of complaining, the Egyptian government has finally promised help, with a spokesman telling state TV that the storm’s temperatures were the coldest recorded in 80 years.

Authorities also said they would bring in aid to those who want to claim their dead animals.

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