Two days ago, our mechanic who had the car at his garage in Doweiqa, home of at least 500,000 people, called us, telling us he wouldn't be able to bring the car back home "because a stone has fallen off the Muqqatam blocking the way up(and down)"
He said that at least five hundred people were killed. And that the rockslide has destroyed at least 60 houses. Now this may be a simple and not very well educated person, but I honestly trust his words more than what they say on the news. Egyptian transparency is very turbid in itself.
I was shocked that even Al Jazira said that the "death toll stands at 31" - if so then why are the people so scared of the spread of disease?
Why haven't they cleared the way for the very impoverished people of Doweiqa and Mansheyet Nasser, given that they live way beyond the poverty line and that those are slums to begin with AND has been declared an unsafe area in 1994, fourteen years ago.
Our mechanic said that the boulder(s) is(are) as tall as our 13 story building and twice as wide, in news terminology: "The section of cliff that broke away is estimated at 60 metres wide by 15 metres long."
Geologists said that there is a threat of yet another rock slide, soon, and the authorities aren't doing much about the last one to begin with.They also said that this was no natural disaster, but rather the result of a faulty sewage system in the "stone area" of Muqqatam.
Rumor has it that a grant of 250,000 million dollars has been given to the Egyptian government (Bank of Abu Dhabi) to build proper homes for the people of Doweiqa, and rumo also has it that some of the money has been used to build some veterinary hospital.
My heart goes out to Egypt. May we all find the security we deserve someday.
Sources: me, AlJazeera, Kefaya