Mozambique and Zimbabwe struck by earthquake

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake occurred in southern Mozambique near the small farming town of Espungabera near Malvernia just after midnight.

The region is comparatively remote, and detailed reports of what has occurred at the epicenter are not yet available. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), damage is expected, but there are no detailed reports at this stage. As of February 23, February 23, 2006 07:13 UST there are no reported injuries. The area is approximately 100 km away from the Zimbabwen border.

Residents in the surrounding region have been urged not to return to buildings due to possible aftershocks. The region is home to the East African rift system.

The earthquake was felt as far as 800 km away as Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa, and in Zambia. No damage is expected in those countries.

Earlier USGS reports had estimated the magnitude at 6.9. In comparison, the recent 2005 Kashmir quake in Pakistan had a magnitude of 7.6.

The quake occurred at February 22, 2006 22:19:08 Universal standard time (UST).