This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS), with the support of the International Federation, is working to map the full scope of their response, including the specific needs for international support.
Early in the morning of Sunday 20 December 2009, the northern Malawian district of Karonga was hit by a magnitude 6.2 earthquake. Two people died with 171 people injured, 81 of whom were seriously injured and admitted to the district hospital.The Government estimates that up to 6,000 households may have been affected.
This is the second quake to hit the region in the past two weeks. On 6 December, a series of earth tremors - peaking at a magnitude of 5.8 - killed one person and affected 3,000 households.
The Malawi Red Cross Society, with support from the Federation, has been active in the region since the 6 December tremors. They have been able to provide immediate assistance to many of those affected by the most recent earthquake, including through the distribution of shelter materials (tents, tarpaulins, shelter kits, etc) as well as other non-food items. The National Society is urgently requesting for a shelter specialist to be sent as soon as possible.
Following the 6 December tremors, the Federation released CHF 306,365 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to the MRCS. It is clear however that the needs of those affected will require more from the Red Cross and the wider humanitarian community, and further support (including extended DREF), is being considered.