Malawi declares national disaster following quakes

Malawi's president Mutharika declared a national disaster following a series of earthquakes in the northern district of Karonga, the government said.

Malawi declares national disaster following quakes

Malawi's president Bingu wa Mutharika declared a national disaster on Tuesday following a series of earthquakes in the uranium-rich northern district of Karonga, the government said in a statement on state radio.

The declaration, announced on state radio, follows an earlier international appeal for assistance by Malawi's Department of Disaster Management Affairs.

"We urgently need big tents for families as their houses are virtually uninhabitable. We are appealing to the international community for assistance," department spokeswoman Lilian N'goma said.

A four-year-old boy and two adults were killed and up to 250 people were injured on Sunday when the 6.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed buildings in the region.

Another tremor struck neighbouring Tanzania on the same day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), but initial reports said there was no serious damage or injuries.

The Malawi quake was the latest in a series in Karonga this month. A one-year-old child was killed on Dec. 8.

Production at the Australian company Paladin Energy's Kayelekera uranium mine was not affected.

The department says it needs 48,000 tents to cater for the about 270,000 people living in the district who are no longer staying in their homes for fear of a recurrence in the earthquakes.

Reuters
Last Mod: 23 Aralık 2009, 08:21
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