A rare storm in Egypt has sparked flash floods that killed at least three people and washed swarms of scorpions into people’s homes.
More than 500 people were stung by scorpions who sought refuge from thunderstorms and torrential rainfall in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan over the weekend.
Wounded Aswan residents were transferred to hospitals to receive anti-venom injections, Egypt’s state-run Al Ahram newspaper said.
The Aswan area normally receives around 1 millimeter of rainfall per year, making the heavy thunder and hail storms on Friday a rare event. Egypt’s fat-tailed scorpions, which normally dwell in the desert, are among the deadliest in the world. Without treatment, people can die within an hour of being stung.
Three members of Egypt’s security forces were killed in the flash floods – the worst of their kind in 11 years, according to Aswan’s governor Ashraf Attia.
The torrential rainfall in Aswan’s desert destroyed homes and damaged roads and trees.
Attia and the Egyptian health ministry denied initial state media reports that three people had died from scorpion stings.