Government of Mozambique asks UN for technical support

News and Press Release
Originally published
(New York, 28 February 2006): The Government of Mozambique has requested technical support from the United Nations for strengthening its capacity to manage risks and disasters, including earthquakes. This request comes after an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale struck the country at 12:19 a.m. local time on Thursday 23 February 2006. The epicentre was located in Machaze District in southern Manica Province.
Preliminary findings from assessments carried out so far indicate that four people were killed and 36 injured in Machaze and Chimoio (southern Manica Province), and Beira (Sofala Province). At least 288 houses were destroyed in Machaze, Espungabera, Mossurizi and Chimoio (southern Manica Province). In addition, six schools, one water tank, three water points, and two small bridges were destroyed in Machaze and Mossurizi. The UN has helped mobilise two helicopters in support of these assessments. The helicopters have been operating in northern Gaza Province and southern Manica Province since Saturday morning.

Further assessments have yet to take place in the remote locations of Mavué (Massangena District) and Machaila in the northern part of Gaza Province.

The most urgent needs so far include food, water, sanitation and shelter for families who lost their houses in the earthquake. Water supply is required in Machazes and Mossurizi, as well as tents or tarpaulins to enable the resumption of school activities. These needs will primarily be addressed using in-country resources.

United Nations' support to the government is coordinated by the UN Resident Coordinator. A Humanitarian Affairs Officer from the OCHA Regional Office for Southern Africa has been deployed temporarily to assist the UN Resident Coordinator.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Kristen Knutson, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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