Algeria: Mila Earthquake - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRDZ005

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake hit eastern Algeria on Friday August 07, 07:15 am. The quake, which was followed by a 4.5 aftershock, hit Mila province some 350 km (215 miles) east of the capital Algiers.

The earthquake has left severe damages on the structures and infra-structures in different areas of Mila, pushing the residents to flee in panic into the streets.

Around 122 houses have been damaged including three houses and a four-storey villa that were completely destroyed, while 31 apartments were partially destroyed. Other houses were severely damaged including open cracks in walls, floors, and streets. Luckily, there were no casualties reported, only injuries.

The government has declared on 16 of August 2020 the area of Khirbat in Mila a disaster area, populated by more than 2,500 families. Since the date of disaster until the announcement date, the Algerian Red Crescent was the only actor on ground sheltering and providing assistance to the bereaved families because before the area is declared a disaster zone, the government cannot activate the risk fund.

Following to the evacuation of families living in fragile structures and damaged houses at risk of collapsing, a football stadium was allocated on the event day to house the affected families in emergency shelter. Initial number of 217 families were sheltered on the first day, and by the second day a total of 1,675 families were staying in 4 emergency camps. These families are the most vulnerable as they have no source of income to cover their needs, nor other sheltering solutions such as rental or being hosted as other affected families chose to.

It is not clear when those hosted families could return to their new homes, as with the announcement of Mila as a disaster area it is expected that the government will compensate with lands in other areas.