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Moderate Earthquake Rocks Cairo

May 28, 1998

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ A moderate earthquake shook Egypt’s capital Thursday night, sending people fleeing from shaking buildings. One woman broke her leg, police said in the only reported injury.

Seismologists differed on the strength and epicenter of the quake, which struck at 9:33 p.m. and lasted about a minute.

The head of the Helwan Observatory outside Cairo, Abdul-Fattah Galal, said the magnitude was 6.2 and the epicenter 315 miles north of the city in the Mediterranean Sea near Cyprus.

But the U.S. National Earthquake Center in Golden, Colorado, said the ``shallow″ quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 and an epicenter 25 miles east-southeast of Mersa Matruh, a port on Egypt’s northwestern coast.

People contacted in Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan said they didn’t feel the tremor. In Cairo, people in multi-story buildings felt the structures shake, and many rushed outside.

Police said the only known casualty was Noha Mohammed Abdul-Maqsoud, 19, who was hanging laundry off her balcony in Cairo’s Imbaba district when the tremor struck. She lost her balance, fell to the ground and broke her leg, police said.

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