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Flooding Kills 235 in Algeria

November 10, 2001

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) _ Violent winds and heavy rain lashed northern Algeria, collapsing buildings, flooding roads and killing 235 people, authorities said Saturday.

Torrential rains began drenching Algiers, the capital, on Friday, causing muddy waters to rush through city streets and several buildings in one of the city’s poorer sections to crumble to the ground.

At least 250 people were injured, the nation’s Civil Protection Authority said.

The storm disrupted the daily routine of life in the North African nation’s larger cities. In the capital, traffic came to a standstill as roads became impassable because of high waters, felled trees and debris.

Telephone lines were cut and a large number of old buildings were so badly damaged that there were fears some would collapse.

After heavy winds and rain uprooted electric cables, utility provider Sonelgaz cut power to a number of areas to lower the risk of electrocution.

Among the victims were at least four people killed in traffic accidents and a little girl in western Oran, who died after being swept away by flood waters.

The sudden inundation followed several weeks of pronounced dryness in the region. After a 24-hour downpour, the rain had largely stopped by Saturday afternoon.

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