Egypt's Killer Quake

Over 500 are dead and thousands injured, but the Sphinx survives

MEASURING 5.9 ON THE RICHTER SCALE, THE EARTHquake that shook Cairo last Monday was only a medium-size tremor by world standards. But Cairo's densely overcrowded neighborhoods, the rickety state of much of the city's older housing and the shoddy construction of some of the city's newer buildings combined to turn it into an unprecedented national disaster. The 40-second tremor, felt as far away as Jerusalem, sent Cairo residents scrambling into the streets. As casualty reports flowed in from the capital and outlying provinces, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak hastily interrupted a trip to China. Egyptian officials estimate that more than 500 people...

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