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Strong Aftershocks Recorded in Quake Area, Still No Injury Reports

May 21, 1990

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Seismographs recorded strong aftershocks to a major earthquake that shook a refugee-filled area of Sudan, but there were no reports Monday of significant damage or injuries.

The aftershocks in southern Sudan followed Sunday morning’s quake, which measured 7.5 on the Richter scale. A quake of that magnitude is capable of causing widespread destruction.

The earthquake zone is about 700 miles south of Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, an area of sprawling wetlands and trackless jungle.

The shock was felt in towns controlled by the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army and in government-held areas.

Juba, the south’s largest urban area, is 60 miles southwest of the epicenter. It is full of people displaced by the war and living mainly off supplies from international relief agencies.

Damage was said to be negligible in government-controlled Juba, a collection of low-slung British colonial style mortar buildings and refugee shanties. Because of refugees, its population is roughly double the normal 125,000.

Relief workers reported no damage from rebel areas, mostly rural settlements with few substantial buildings.

Egyptian geologist Rashad M. Kebeasy said two of the aftershocks measured about 5 on the Richter scale.

Kebeasy, president of Egypt’s National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, said Sunday’s quake would have probably been a disaster in a populated area.

″I’m sure that if somebody went into the jungle, he would find big faults, cracks in the earth,″ said Kebeasy, an expert on northeastern Africa’s earthquake patterns.

″But this area is very unpopulated. There’s nothing there to bring down.″

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