CAIRO – A storm packing hundreds of scorpions swept into a southern Egyptian city on Thursday, injuring residents and sending swarms of the aggressive arachnids into their homes, prompting some to set their scorpions on fire and threaten to eat them.
At least three people were hurt in Sohag, and the insects have been seen roaming the streets and neighborhood, according to state-run al-Ahram newspaper.
“They exploded, they were everywhere,” Nour Za’amna, a pharmacy clerk, told Al Ahram.
That’s what set off the firefighting effort, local authorities said. The scorpions spit fire and soon kept firefighters from tackling the problem.
Local officials estimated that more than 1,000 scorpions were on the loose in the streets and homes. They attempted to trap them by diving into people’s houses, swatting at them and holding fire extinguishers to their heads.
“It’s a disaster! They are everywhere!” a resident said of the scorpions in an official video posted by the state-run media.
Within five hours, 60 scorpions were trapped and the neighborhood was cleaned up, state-run al-Ahram said.
The scorpions were later flown to Cairo for treatment, officials said.
As in many other countries, swarms of scorpions are common in Egypt. There are an estimated more than 14 million scorpions in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Most scorpions in Egypt are brown. Those stinging can cause abdominal pain, dizziness, vomiting, an irregular heartbeat, fever and headaches.