This story is definitely of Biblical proportion.
More than 500 people were hospitalized after powerful thunderstorms drove scorpions from their burrows and into residential houses in the city of Aswan.
Severe thunderstorms that rolled across southern Egypt this past Friday unleashed flooding, strong winds, hail and hordes of venomous scorpions.
The storms caused damage across the region primarily due to flooding, but the most notable impact came when the pouring rain drove the poisonous scorpions out of their burrows and into homes. According to reports, the scorpions went on a stinging spree, which resulted in more than 500 people being sent to hospitals for treatment.
Local news outlets in Egypt reported three deaths, but none were blamed on the scorpions, The Associated Press reported, citing Egypt’s Acting Health Minister Khalid Abdel-Ghafar. Those who were stung were treated with anti-venom doses and eventually discharged.
Health officials have even had to call in doctors who were on vacation to help treat the influx of patients, according to NPR.
Northern Africa is home to the Egyptian fat-tailed scorpion, which is considered to be one of the most poisonous scorpions in the world, according to the Saint Louis Zoo.
Thunderstorms first struck the southern city of Aswan, located near the Nile River, around 11 p.m. local time Friday with strong wind gusts, torrential downpours and hail. Strong winds also produced blowing dust as the storms rolled through and reduced visibility to near zero.
While only 0.04 of an inch (about 1 mm) of rain was reported at the Aswan’s weather observation site, heavier rain likely fell in other parts of the city due to the isolated nature of these thunderstorms, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and Lead International Forecaster Jason Nicholls.
Video taken during the storms captured their ferocity as footage showed vivid lightning and wind-swept, driving rain that soaked the ground.
The thunderstorms in Aswan flooded streets and also toppled trees and power lines which led to power outages, according to Egypt Independent. The city of Aswan spent the night in the dark after the storm knocked out a power supply station.
“Low pressure moving across Egypt late Friday and Friday night triggered the thunderstorms around Aswan. This low went on to also produce isolated thunderstorms in far northeastern Egypt, southern Israel and northeastern Saudi Arabia into southern Jordan this past weekend,” said Nicholls.
Due to the lack of weather systems tracking through the region and minimal amount of moisture, thunderstorms of this magnitude are very rare in this area, according to Nicholls.
The normal yearly rainfall for Aswan is only about 0.05 of an inch (1.4 mm). Source