The death toll from the massive rockslide in Cairo has now topped 50. While the disaster – in which several multi-tonne boulders broke free from a cliff and crushed dozens of tightly packed homes underneath – has already found it’s way off the front pages of Egyptian news, Egyptian bloggers have kept up the commentary and the criticism of the authorities’ lack of rapid response.
Blogger Nora Younis reported the following from the Duwayqa slums, where the deadly rockslide occurred:
• Casualties & injuries in rock blocks collapse over slums of Doweiqa, Cairo. 02:51 AM September 06, 2008
• 30 'houses' collapsed. 11 dead, 18 injured in Doweiqa, Cairo. 02:55 AM September 06, 2008
• Army started 2 arrive Doweiqa. Ppl removing rubble with their hands. Massive rocks collapsed from Moqatam hill. Horrible pics on Jazeera. 03:33 AM September 06, 2008
• Sinking boats, burning train, parliament on fire, Now 35 houses under rubble! This is a dead state!! 03:42 AM September 06, 2008
• Its been 3 hrs without any rescue or bodies! Ppl r sending cell phone SOS from under massive rocks. But nothing is happening! 03:56 AM September 06, 2008
The government of Egypt has been lightly scolded in the foreign press for its perceived devil-may-care response to the rockslide (President Hosni Mubarak did promise a cool thousand bucks to the families of the victims). Inside Egypt, most of the criticism – at least that we can hear – is coming from the bloggers.
Zenoubia noted sarcastically:
“The prime minister visited the injured El-Hussein Hospital and said that the government would have given those misfortunate families the keys of their new houses in Suzanne Mubarak residential project after 3 weeks but fate did not give them a Chance!! “Yes, blame it on fate, it is easy to blame it on some else!!”