CAIRO: A rise in the water levels of Lake Qaroun has flooded eight villages in Fayoum, submerging acres of agricultural land and three touristic resorts on Tuesday.
Among the flooded areas is the historic Auberge du Lac, a landmark of Fayoum. Built in 1942, the hotel was once Egypt’s last monarch King Farouk’s hunting lodge. It later became a favorite destination for the country’s glitterati.
After two days of intense efforts by the River Rescue and Civil Defense Forces, they were able to salvage the hotel.
“Everything is back to normal. Guests are checking in the hotel, said Nancy Louise, receptionist at the Auberge du Lac. “The ground floor of the hotel was flooded in the past two days, which made us move all the guests to the second floor. Now all the water is out and activity is back to normal.
The rise in the water level of Lake Qaroun along with the high wind speed collapsed the barriers between the hotel and the lake, resulting in the flooding of the ground floor.
Governor of Fayoum, Galal Mostafa Saeed, has ordered the rebuilding of the barriers.
Fayoum residents say that the rise in water levels of Lake Qarun has been creating problems for the past 30 years. They claim that they have filed numerous complaints to officials who have only offered temporary solutions, according to news reports.
The three flooded resorts are Isis, Kenouz and Dreams.