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Aftershock Shakes Cairo, Causes Minor Damage

October 23, 1992

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ An aftershock sent people fleeing into the streets in panic Thursday night, 10 days after a deadly earthquake left more than 550 people dead and thousands injured.

The official Middle East News Agency said two apartment buildings in Cairo and Giza were damaged. An Afghan student suffered multiple fractures after he panicked and jumped from his balcony, police said.

As the aftershock at 7:45 p.m. (1:45 p.m. EDT) shook buildings, traffic on downtown streets came to a halt and hundreds of people left their buildings.

Cairo was back to normal 15 minutes later when it was clear nothing more would happen, but telephone lines were overloaded as Egyptians called friends and relatives.

Police said scores of Muslim fundamentalists took to the streets in the Cairo suburb of Imbaba, brandishing swords and urging people to leave their homes. Security forces dispersed the demonstration without incident, and no arrests were made.

The aftershock measured 4.2 on the Richter scale and was centered about 20 miles southwest of the capital, said Mohamed Mahmoud Desouky of the National Research Institute for Astronomy and Geophysics.

Desouky told The Associated Press that an aftershock of that magnitude fell into the normal range. A few other aftershocks of lesser magnitude were not felt by most people, he said.

Hundreds of aftershocks have rattled Cairo since the earthquake on Oct. 12, which registered 5.9 on the Richter scale.

More than 550 people were killed and nearly 10,000 injured in the quake; 800 buildings were destroyed and thousands more damaged.

Update hourly