Tamanrasset

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Tamanrasset
تمنراست / ⵜⵎⵏⵘⵙⵜ
city
Tamanrasset street
Tamanrasset street
Location of Tamanrasset commune within Tamanrasset Province
Location of Tamanrasset commune within Tamanrasset Province
Tamanrasset is located in Algeria
Tamanrasset
Tamanrasset
Location of Tamanrasset within Algeria
Coordinates: 22°47′20″N 5°31′32″E / 22.78889°N 5.52556°E / 22.78889; 5.52556Coordinates: 22°47′20″N 5°31′32″E / 22.78889°N 5.52556°E / 22.78889; 5.52556
Country  Algeria
Province Tamanrasset Province
District Tamanrasset District
Area
 • Total 37,713 km2 (14,561 sq mi)
Elevation 1,320 m (4,330 ft)
Population (2008)
 • Total 92,635
 • Density 2/km2 (5/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
Postal code 11000
Area code(s) (+213) 29
PMA seats (as of 2007) 11
ONS code 1101

Tamanrasset /tæmnræst/ (Arabic: تمنراست , also known as Tamenɣest, Tamanghasset or Tamenghest, Tuareg: ⵜⵎⵏⵘⵙⵜ ) is an oasis city and capital of Tamanrasset Province in southern Algeria, in the Ahaggar Mountains. It is the chief city of the Algerian Tuareg. It is located an altitude of 1,320 metres (4,330 ft). As of the 2008 census, it has a population of 92,635,[1] up from 72,741 in 1998,[2] with an annual growth rate of 2.5%.[1]

Tamanrasset was originally established as a military outpost to guard the trans-Saharan trade routes. Surrounded by the barren Sahara Desert, very high temperatures of over 47 °C (117 °F) have been recorded here. Tamanrasset is located at an oasis where, despite the difficult climate, citrus fruits, apricots, dates, almonds, cereals, corn, and figs are grown. The Tuareg people are the town's main inhabitants. Tamanrasset is a tourist attraction during the cooler months. Visitors are also drawn to the Museum of the Hoggar, which offers many exhibits depicting Tuareg life and culture.

The city is served by Tamanrasset Airport and the Trans-Sahara Highway.

History[edit]

Woman in a doorway, 1916

Tamanrasset originated as the centre of a network of camel caravan trading routes from Kano, Lake Chad, Gao, Agades and Zinder.[3] When Algeria was under French rule the town was established as a military post, originally named Fort Laperrine, after General François-Henry Laperrine[4] who died in the desert nearby.

Charles de Foucauld was shot to death outside his Tamanrasset compound by Sermi ag Thora under the command of El Madani ag Soba on December 1, 1916.[5]

On 13 February 1960, during the Algerian War, Gerboise Bleue - the first French nuclear test - detonated in the middle of the Algerian Sahara desert, located about 800 km southwest of Tamanrasset.[6]

On May 1, 1962, near Ecker, 150 km north of Tamanrasset, there was an accidental venting of a French underground nuclear test. Due to improper sealing of the shaft, a spectacular flame burst through the concrete cap and radioactive gases and dust were vented into the atmosphere. The plume climbed up to 2600 m high and radiation was detected hundreds of km away. About a hundred French soldiers and officials, including two ministers, were irradiated. The number of contaminated Algerians is unknown.

In 2003 Air Algérie Flight 6289 crashed in the city.

In 2010, the oasis town is the site of the Joint Military Staff Committee headquarters for combating Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb. The four-country Committee (Algeria, Mali, Niger, Mauritania) intends to use Tamanrasset to coordinate their military activity in the Pan-Sahel.[7]

Climate[edit]

Climate chart
Tamanrasset viewed from the air

Tamanrasset has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh), with very hot summers (which are moderated by its elevation) and mild winters. There is very little rain throughout the year, although occasional rain does fall in late summer from the northern extension of the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

Climate data for Tamanrasset
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 27.5
(81.5)
29.9
(85.8)
29.8
(85.6)
35.0
(95)
39.1
(102.4)
44.7
(112.5)
47.4
(117.3)
47.4
(117.3)
42.5
(108.5)
34.8
(94.6)
28.6
(83.5)
27.2
(81)
47.4
(117.3)
Average high °C (°F) 20.1
(68.2)
22.1
(71.8)
25.4
(77.7)
30.1
(86.2)
33.6
(92.5)
35.4
(95.7)
35.3
(95.5)
34.7
(94.5)
33.2
(91.8)
29.5
(85.1)
24.7
(76.5)
21.3
(70.3)
28.8
(83.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.7
(54.9)
14.5
(58.1)
18.2
(64.8)
22.7
(72.9)
26.7
(80.1)
29.1
(84.4)
29.2
(84.6)
28.7
(83.7)
27.2
(81)
23.0
(73.4)
17.6
(63.7)
13.9
(57)
22.0
(71.6)
Average low °C (°F) 5.2
(41.4)
6.9
(44.4)
10.9
(51.6)
15.3
(59.5)
19.7
(67.5)
22.8
(73)
23.1
(73.6)
22.6
(72.7)
21.1
(70)
16.4
(61.5)
10.4
(50.7)
6.4
(43.5)
15.1
(59.2)
Record low °C (°F) −5.3
(22.5)
−4.4
(24.1)
−2.9
(26.8)
0.4
(32.7)
4.7
(40.5)
6.9
(44.4)
7.2
(45)
7.0
(44.6)
5.7
(42.3)
−0.1
(31.8)
0.0
(32)
−4.6
(23.7)
−5.3
(22.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 2.4
(0.094)
1.5
(0.059)
5.2
(0.205)
2.1
(0.083)
5.1
(0.201)
7.1
(0.28)
5.1
(0.201)
8.1
(0.319)
7.7
(0.303)
6.8
(0.268)
0.8
(0.031)
1.7
(0.067)
53.6
(2.11)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 0.6 0.7 1.1 0.8 1.5 2.8 1.6 2.9 2.8 1.5 0.4 0.6 17.3
Average relative humidity (%) 29 31 26 27 29 24 21 25 26 29 32 31 27.5
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization (average temperatures and precipitation, 1976–2005)[8]
Source #2: Weatherbase (extremes, humidity)[9]

Education[edit]

4.3% of the population has a tertiary education, and another 14.1% has completed secondary education.[10] The overall literacy rate is 69.8%, and is 78.4% among males and 60.8% among females.[11]

Localities[edit]

The commune is composed of 14 localities:[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Population: Tamanrasset Wilaya" (PDF) (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Algeria Communes". Statoids. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  3. ^ John Gunther, "Inside Africa" Hamish Hamilton, page132
  4. ^ fr:François-Henry Laperrine
  5. ^ Fleming, Fergus. The Sword and the Cross: Two Men and an Empire of Sand. New York: Grove Press, 2003.
  6. ^ French Senate report #179: The first French tests in the Sahara
  7. ^ "Saharan states to open joint military headquarters". BBC News. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  8. ^ "World Weather Information Service–Tamanrasset". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 21 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Weatherbase: Weather for Tamanrasset, Algeria". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 22, 2011.
  10. ^ "Structure relative de la population résidente des ménages ordinaires et collectifs âgée de 6 ans et plus selon le niveau d'instruction et la commune de résidence." (PDF) (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Taux d'analphabétisme et taux d'alphabétisation de la population âgée de 15 ans et plus, selon le sexe et la commune de résidence ." (PDF) (in French). Office National des Statistiques Algérie. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Décret n° 84-365, fixant la composition, la consistance et les limites territoriale des communes. Wilaya d'El Oued" (PDF) (in French). Journal officiel de la République Algérienne,. 19 December 1984. p. 1551. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2013 or before. Retrieved 2 March 2013.  Check date values in: |archive-date= (help)

External links[edit]