Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Earthquakes in Malawi's Karonga district kills child

Map of Malawi

A one-year-old child has died in Malawi after a house collapsed in a series of earthquakes and aftershocks in the northern Karonga district, police say.

"A kitchen collapsed on the child in a village," Karonga police spokesman Enock Levason told the BBC.

The authorities say at least six other people have been hospitalised since Sunday when the tremors began.

Several mainly mud-and-thatch houses in the region have crumbled while the stronger brick ones have cracked.

The BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre says there are fears that there could be more casualties as the tremors continue.

"Since Sunday we haven't been able to sleep in our house," Sailesi Nyirongo from from Kaporo north of the Karonga district centre told our reporter by phone.

"I have two big cracks in my walls and I am afraid [that] although my house may look strong, it might crumble if a stronger earthquake returns."

Leonard Kalindekafe, director of the Malawi Geological Survey, told the BBC the largest tremor was recorded on Tuesday morning with a magnitude of 5.9.

Parts of Malawi lie on the Great Rift Valley and so are prone to earthquakes.

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