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Torrential Rains, Flash Floods Kill 200 in Algeria - 2001-11-10


More than 200 people have been reported killed in flooding in Algeria and authorities fear the death toll could climb much higher. Torrential rain has been pounding Algeria for two days.

Many of the victims died when their homes were crushed by flash floods, high winds, and torrential rains.

The storm in northern Algeria began Friday morning. Officials say casualty figures are rising rapidly, particularly around the capital, Algiers, and are expected to continue to go up.

Witnesses say bodies are washing down from higher ground in the city of Bab-el-Oued, which is partially built on hills.

Algiers was said to be almost paralyzed Saturday because the storms caused power blackouts and flooded numerous districts. Driving is said to be almost impossible. State television shows pictures of vehicles being swept away.

Meteorologists are forecasting the rains are not likely to let up until, possibly, Wednesday.

Algerian authorities have reportedly launched an emergency plan to get help to victims.