Hundreds Stung as Extreme Storms Unleash Scorpion Plague in Egypt

Hundreds Stung as Extreme Storms Unleash Scorpion Plague in Egypt
Photo: Khaled Desouki, Getty Images

As if extreme weather wasn’t terrifying enough already, this weekend one city reported a literal plague of scorpions that came in the wake of some major storms ripping through the region.

On Saturday, the Egyptian outlet Al-Ahram reported that the torrential rainstorms and snowfall blowing across the city of Aswan over the weekend had driven out swarms of scorpions from their nests and directly into resident’s homes, where they did what scorpions do best: sting the shit out of anyone nearby. Other local outlets reported that over 450 Aswan residents were stung over the weekend, with three dead as a result.

While we don’t know which particular breed of scorpions was terrorizing folks across the region, others have pointed out that it was likely the Egyptian fat-tailed scorpion, which has a sting that’s widely accepted to be pretty darn deadly. Venom from a black fat-tail, as the BBC points out, can kill a person in under one hour. Those that were stung are currently receiving treatment at a handful of hospitals across the region, according to a statement given to Al-Ahram by Ehab Hanafy, the undersecretary for Aswan’s Health Ministry.

If all this wasn’t bad enough, there’s even more storm-related fallout that Egypt needs to scramble to contain right now. The roughly two weeks of heavy rains and thunderstorms that have pounded major Egyptian hubs like Cairo and Aswan have left power lines cut, trees, felled, and countless streets flooded over.

A spokesperson for the Egyptian Ministry, Mohamed Ghanem, told one local outlet that the heavy rainfall over the weekend had turned into a “highly destructive torrent,” that sped down nearby mountain regions at speeds close to 100/km per hour ( about 100 km/h).

Weirdly enough, Ghanem also added that the sudden flash flood that slammed across Aswan was “a natural phenomenon,” that should be expected to a certain degree. In that respect, he’s probably right: extreme weather is only getting more common, which means Egypt’s high risk of climate-related calamities is only going to get more pronounced as time goes on. When the next one inevitably hits, hopefully, it won’t bring a deluge of deadly scorpions with it.