Egypt and Earthquakes: On Seismic Hazards and the Quakes That Shook the Nation

On the 16th of June, 2020, Egypt felt an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2, which took place 86 kilometers to the east of Hurghada in the Red Sea. Some people in the Red Sea Governorate and cities in Upper Egypt felt it, but fortunately, no damage whatsoever was reported as a result of the earthquake.

Via Wikipedia

Seismic Hazard

The seismic hazard in Egypt is highest at the southern end of the Gulf of Suez, the northern Red Sea, and around the Gulf of Aqaba, the locations of the active plate boundaries. The highest risk is the southern end of the Dead Sea Transform. Egypt is considered a relatively safe place when it comes to the risk of earthquakes.

Notable Earthquakes

The last notable earthquake that took place in Egypt was the 1995 Gulf of Aqaba Earthquake; it led to between 30 and 70 injuries. However, the most devastating one in the past few decades was the 1992 Cairo Earthquake. The deadly earthquake took the lives of 545 people and injured 6512.

1992 Cairo Earthquake
Picture Via Alchetron

There are also notable earthquakes that took place over 1000 years ago! One was recorded back in 885, when a strong earthquake destroyed houses and the Friday mosque (i.e. the mosque of ‘Amr). At least 1,000 people were killed.

Another notable one that was recorded nearly a thousand years ago, the 1068 Near East Earthquake. The event was responsible for an estimated 20,000 deaths and caused damage in Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, and other areas east of the Mediterranean Sea.

According to the National Centers For Environmental Information, the one with the most fatalities took place in 1754, and took the lives of over 40,000, however, the high toll of lives and property loss is questioned by some sources!

There was another one in Fayoum that took place in 1847 and it was mentioned in some sources that it took the lives of 126 people; it was the last large earthquake before the 20th century.

Other than the 1992 and 1995 earthquakes that were mentioned above, we experienced two more notable ones in the 20th century, in 1955 and 1969. The first one is the 1955 Alexandria earthquake, which caused 18 deaths, 89 injuries, 40 houses to collapse, and 420 houses sustained damage. The 1969 Sharm El Sheikh Earthquake was less devastating with only two deaths.

WE SAID THIS: Were you born during the 1992 earthquake?

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