At least one person was killed and five injured on Thursday after a severe sandstorm caused a billboard to collapse on the October 6 overpass bridge in Cairo, wreaking havoc nationwide.
The billboard collapsed on a car and motorcycle resulting in injuries. Multiple ambulances were dispatched to the scene of the accident.
The Suez Canal Economic Zone and The Red Sea Ports announced several port closures due to severe weather conditions, and the latter suspended all maritime navigation and activities over safety concerns.
Wind intensity and wave height ranged between 24-26 knots and 3-4 metres, respectively, according to the Red Sea Ports Authority.
On Thursday, the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA) advised the public to wear face masks and avoid sunlight when outdoors for the next two days due to the dangerous conditions caused by strong winds, sandstorms, and a heatwave of over 40 degrees Celsius in some areas.
Minister of Environment, Yasmine Fouad, warned that the ministry predicts strong winds and more sandstorms to continue on Friday in some areas in Cairo, the North Coast, and Upper Egypt; she urged citizens to temporarily avoid outdoor activities, especially the elderly and those with respiratory disease.
The extreme weather is caused by thermal depressions in the region as well as the Khamasin storms, which are an annual phenomenon that occur in Egypt every spring for a period of around 50 days.