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Earthquake in Ethiopia may damage GERD: Professor

Professor of Geology and Water Resources at the Cairo University Abbas Sharaky said that Ethiopia witnessed an earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale on Monday, and warned that it may have serious repercussions.

Al-Shorouk newspaper reported Sharaky saying that though the earthquake is moderate in strength, its magnitude is large for the African region which does not have the necessary preparations to deal with earthquakes, unlike countries such as Japan.

The impact of this earthquake is especially problematic for huge dams such as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which holds 35 billion cubic meters of water, warning that a crack in the dam will lead to a flood in Sudan.

East Africa is considered the most active seismic region in the African continent, he said, stressing the importance of understanding the nature of these regions when establishing any projects there, specifically water projects that will cause major disasters if they are cracked or damaged – something which Ethiopia does not even imagine.

Sharaky cited the collapse of the two dams surrounding the city of Derna in northern Libya as a result of Hurricane Daniel in 2023, warning that the size of the GERD is equivalent to them “15,000 times.”

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