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Environment/Natural Resources

[Published: Saturday September 06 2008]

Rockslide hits Cairo homes

Cairo, 7 Sept-(ANA)-A rockslide in the Egyptian capital Cairo haskilled at least 24 people, emergency services say.

Dozens of houses in a shanty town east of central Cairo were hit by hugeboulders and rocks, witnesses say adding that a six-storey building in theimpoverished Duwayqa district below the Muqattam hills had been completelyreduced to rubble.

Some people are believed to be still trapped in the rubble and police havecordoned off the area.

More than 30 people are reported to have been injured and the number ofcasualties is expected to rise.

Reports said that at least eight boulders - each estimated to weigh about 70tonnes - fell from the towering cliffs overlooking the district at about 0900local time (0700 GMT).

"It was horror," said Hassan Ibrahim Hassan, 80, whose houseescaped the destruction.

"The power went out, we heard a loud bang like an earthquake and Ithought this house had collapsed. I went out, I saw the whole mountain hadcollapsed."

Witnesses described seeing hundreds of distraught people gathered around thesite of the destruction, saying they had relatives and friends trapped underthe rubble.(ANA)

FA/ANA/7 September 2008---

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