Mozambique: Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2006/0033
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Mozambique - Earthquake
28 February 2006

1. Situation

An earthquake of a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale struck Mozambique at 12:19 AM (local time) on Thursday 23 February 2006. The epicentre was located in Machaze District in southern Manica Province.

The earthquake was felt with a particular intensity in all surrounding districts of the region, including Mossurizi (Manica Province), Chibabava and Nhamatanda (Sofala Province), Massangena, Guija and Chokwe (Gaza Province), and in south-eastern Zimbabwe.

The earthquake was felt up to Maputo and Beira where thousands of people fled into the streets, and as far as Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria (South Africa), Harare and Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) and Lusaka (Zambia).

2. Response

The Council of Ministers held an emergency meeting on Thursday 23 February, which was followed by a technical meeting, gathering all sectoral ministries and UN agencies representatives, under the chairmanship of the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC). After these meetings, teams were dispatched to the affected areas to assess damages and casualties:

- Ministerial delegations were sent to the provinces of Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Sofala and Tete to help the provincial authorities assess the situation;

- INGC sent assessment teams to locations of difficult access close to the epicentre. The UN has helped mobilise two helicopters, in support of this initiative. The helicopters have been operating in northern Gaza Province and southern Manica Province since Saturday morning;

- The Ministry of Public Works dispatched teams to assess potential damages to large infrastructure, such as bridges and dams. The authorities also mobilised local civil engineers in several cities to check buildings for possible damages;

- The Government has also involved the Red Cross in view of their extensive experience in rescue operations as well as in working in remote places.

3. Impact

Preliminary findings from the above mentioned assessments 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.

Further assessments have yet to take place in the remote locations of Mavué (Massangena District) and Machaila in the northern part of Gaza Province on Monday 27 February.

4. Needs

Most urgent needs include food, water, sanitation and shelter for the 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.

The Government has requested technical support from the UN for strengthening its capacity to manage risks and disasters related to earthquakes.

5. Coordination

National disaster response coordination is handled by the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), which is placed under the umbrella of the Ministry of State Administration (MAE).

UN 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.

6. Contact

Ms. Marylène Spezzati, UN Resident Coordinator: + 258 21 481 425

Mr. Jean-Luc Tonglet, OCHA Regional Office for Southern Africa: + 27 83 390 6059 or + 258 82 296 5800.

This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Mr. Alfred Nabeta, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2732
Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, direct Tel. +41-22-917 1712

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 5126

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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