Online Encyclopedia

PORT SUDAN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 134 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PORT SUDAN  , a
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town and harbour on the west coast of the Red Sea, in 190 37' N . 370 12' E., 700 in. by boat S. of
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Suez and 495 M. by
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rail N.E. of
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Khartum . Pop . (1906), 4289 . It is the
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principal
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port of the Anglo-
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Egyptian Sudan and the headquarters of the customs administration . The
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coral reefs fringing the coast are here broken by a straight channel with deep
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water giving access to the harbour, which consists of a series of natural channels and basins . The largest basin is 900 yds. long by 500 broad and has a minimum
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depth of 6 fathoms . On the north side of the inlet are quays (completed 1909), fitted with electric cranes, &c . Here are the customs-house,
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coal sheds and goods station . The town proper lies on the south side of the inlet, connected with the quays by a railway
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bridge . Besides government offices the public buildings include hospitals, and a branch of the Gordon College of Khartum . Beyond the bridge in the upper waters of the inlet is a dry
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dock .

The

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climate of Port Sudan is very hot and
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damp and fever is
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common . Adjacent to the town is an arid plain without vegetation other than mimosa thorns . Some 10 m. west is a
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line of hills parallel to the coast . The port
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dates from 1905 . It owes its existence to the
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desire of the Sudan administration to find a harbour more suitable than Suakin (q.v.) for the commerce of the country . Such a place ' was found in Mersa Sheikh Barghut (or Barud), 36 m. north of Suakin, a harbour so named from a saint whose tomb is prominent on the
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northern point of the entrance . When the
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building of the railway between the Nile and the Red Sea was begun, it was determined to create a port at this harbour—which was renamed Port Sudan (Bander es-Sudan) . Up to the end of 19o9 the
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total
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expenditure by the government alone on the town and harbour-
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works was £E914,320 . The railway (which has termini both at Port Sudan and Suakin) was opened in
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January 1906 and the customs-house in the May following . Port Sudan immediately attracted a large trade, the value of goods passing through it in 1906 exceeding 470,000 . In 1908 the imports and exports were valued at about 750,000 . It is a
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regular port of call of
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British, German and
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Italian steamers .

The imports are largely

cotton goods, provisions,
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timber and cement; the exports gum, raw cotton, ivory,
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sesame, durra, senna, coffee (from Abyssinia), goat skins, &c .
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Forty miles north of Port Sudan is Mahommed Gul, the port for the mines of Gebet, worked by an
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English
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company . The
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Foreign Office Report, Trade of Port Sudan for the
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Year 1996, by T . B . Hohler, gives a valuable account of the beginnings of the port . A chart of the harbour was issued by the British Admiralty in 1908 . See also SUDAN: § Anglo-Egyptian .

End of Article: PORT SUDAN
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