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Photos (1.4MB PPT) of the Algiers Flood and Mudflows of November 10th, 2001.
Dear Colleagues,

This is to inform you about the terrible situation we are experiencing in Algiers (Capital of Algeria). There was huge rain fall on the site of Algiers in the night of Friday and daturday 9 and 10 October. I believe this is rather due to the topography of the site, all the water was coming from the top of the hill (306 m above sea level) to the sea passing through the streets of the capital taking with it cars, buses, people, mud, rocks etc., washing away avery thing met in its way down to the sea; this also produced landslides and destroying most the house units on the hill. I believe it is not the size of the flood or rain fall who produced the disaster but the weakness of the constructions and the bad state of the sewage system.

Tonight, official reports say that in Algiers, the disaster caused the loss of more than 304, injured more than 350 and made homeless about 10000 people (1500 families). It destroyed in the city center more than 1500 house units, roads, briges, lifeline systems. Even the main streets of the city are full of mud and sand coming from up hill. Huge quantity of mud and sand are in the city main streets. Many people were washed away by water currents in the streets which were acting as rivers. There are still people under the ruins of the houses as well as many under the mud mixed with the remains of cars, busses, steel, concrete, bricks, stones, etc....

The city center is located at the foot of a hill of 306 m high. Water streamed down the hill and swamped the area. Rescue workers said victims had been buried under the rubble of their collapsed homes, hit by falling trees and power lines or died by drowning. Dozens of people were washed away by furious water currents, even in the main streets of the capital. Many people in their cars were buried in the mud and many of them are still buried.

No warning to the population was raised and no measure taken to reduce the impact of the disaster, eventhough the meteorological office in Algiers has announced two days before that a strong storm will arrive in Algeria on Friday night and all of us were waiting for it, but unfortunately no warning from the concerned services was made to tell the population what to do. It looks like the government does not have any strategy on Disaster Management.

You may see the scope of the disaster from pictures from Algerian newspaper in consulting the Algerian newspapers website: www.djazaironline.net and look at the following newspapers: Liberte, El-Watan, Le Matin, El-Khabar, etc....

If you need more information, please let me know.

Best regards,

Dr. Djillali Benouar