Situation Report: Malawi Earthquake

News and Press Release
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A series of earthquakes hit the Karonga district in northern Malawi between December 6 and December 12, 2009. One of the earthquakes registered 5.8 on Richter scale and completely razed many houses. More than 16,500 people have been affected and reports indicate one death and 16 people seriously injured. Many public institutions have been closed because of cracks and instability in buildings. During the same time period, the districts of Chikwawa and Thyolo in southern Malawi were hit by a cyclone and rainstorm that has damaged houses, crops and livestock.

The earthquake has damaged houses and schools, and displaced the inhabitants of 23 villages. Currently, 12,300 people are living in tents with poor sanitary facilities and no fresh water. The cyclone in the south has demolished more than 945 households. For those people that had already cultivated their fields and planted sorghum, about of 371.7 ha of land under crops (maize, sorghum) has been washed away.

The infrastructure of Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) church buildings and schools has also been reported.

PDA Response

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) partners and local members of Action by Churches Together (ACT) members have carried out a joint assessment with the Department of Disaster and Preparedness of Malawi and other non-governmental organizations. . The disaster response is coordinated by the District Assembly of the Government.

PDA's partner Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) in Malawi is assisting affected families with:

- Food aid

- Temporary shelter

- Sanitary materials (plastic sheeting)

- Utensils

- Clothing, blankets

Detailed assessment is currently being conducted in both, the earthquake-hit north and the Cyclone hit south of Malawi. Rapid Response funds will be provided to assist in the response

The Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), Synod of Livingstonia is also providing assistance to the affected families and PDA will be providing One Great Hour of Sharing funds to assist in their outreach and recovery efforts.

What you can do

You can stand in the gap for disaster survivors and help the church in this response.

GIVE. The generous sharing of your financial blessings through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering and special designated giving provides the resources needed to assist with immediate and long-term recovery needs. Individuals may give through their local Presbyterian congregation, on the secure PC(USA) Web site, or by sending their check to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

Please include the special designated giving account DR000158 - Malawi. Congregations should send donations through their normal mission giving channels.

ACT. Stay informed. Sign up to receive PDA-RIN notices to alert you of additional needs.

PRAY. Please continue in prayer for families and displaced people who have been affected by the earthquake and cyclone