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 Thousands gather to view rare eclipse

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NAIROBI, Kenya — From northern Portugal to the heart of Africa, crowds gathered Monday on roofs, hilltops and in city squares for a rare chance to see a spectacular solar eclipse.

In this African capital, people prayed when the moon masked the sun like a black plate, leaving a bright rim. In Madrid, cheers went up at Spain's first sight of an annular eclipse in more than two centuries.

"It may be a sign of the end of the world or some other great disaster. This is what we believe," said 82-year-old Tigray tribesman Tebared Tsegahun in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

"I don't know what you members of the new generation say about it," he said, but "We will keep praying to survive the danger that will come after it."

Most of Ethiopia's 70 million people were not aware the spectacle was coming. An FM radio station announced it a couple of hours before the event — not long enough for the news to spread.

"It looks like sunset, but it is only midday," said Thadee Ndaruvukanye. "This is a strong sign from God to show us that he is the most powerful."

At the Central Park in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, residents who gathered during their lunch break watched the eclipse as an evangelical preacher prayed loudly. As temperature and light faded at noon, birds chirped excitedly as they do at sunset.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2005-10-03-eclipse-europe-africa_x.htm


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