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Quake hits Malawi after earlier tremors

Washington, December 8, 2009

A magnitude 5.9 quake struck northern Malawi on Tuesday, close to the Tanzanian border, the US Geological Survey reported.

The quake, only 6.2 miles (10 km) deep, followed a series of quakes in the same area, the uranium-rich Karonga district, for two days running.

The epicenter was 175 km north of Mzuzu, Malawi's third largest city, and 125 km southeast of the Tanzanian town of Mbeya. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Authorities in Karonga were on high alert in the aftermath of the tremors, which on Sunday injured six people, two seriously, and caused extensive damage to houses, schools and some government offices.

Karonga District Assembly chief executive officer Gasten Macheka told Reuters on Sunday the district had evacuated people from their homes for fear of a recurrence.

Output at Kayelekera uranium mine, owned by Australian Paladin Energy was not affected by the earlier quakes, which Macheka said began at 1930 GMT on Sunday and continued until 1000GMT on Monday. The US Geological Survey said those quakes measured between 5.1 and 5.8.-Reuters




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