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Moderately Strong Earthquake
The people of Madagascar were shaken by a rare moderately-strong M5.5 earthquake on January
12, 2017 in the morning. Earthquakes are rare but not uncommon in Madagascar. This is the 8th
largest quake in Madagascar’s history, the strongest having struck more than 67 years ago.
 
Witnesses described fairly strong shaking during 15 to 20 seconds. There were no immediate
reports of injuries or significant damage. The United States Geological Service measured the
quake at a magnitude 5.5 on the Richter scale. The quake was centered south of the lakeside
town of Betafo, in central Madagascar.
 
The quake occurred just after 1 a.m. local time, and was felt in Antananarivo, Antsirabe and the
Atsimo-Andrefana region. In Antsirabe, a hotel guest reported a cracked ceiling and broken
pipes that sent water into the room, but no serious damage. Guests went outside into the
parking lot until it seemed safe to go back inside.
 
Others said they were awakened from their sleep, with houses shaking and rattling furniture.
Some reported things falling off the walls.
 
Friends of Madagascar Mission (FOMM) received a request from the Toby Ambohimahazo, near
Antsirabe for assistance in rebuilding one of their living quarters that was damaged beyond
repair. A Toby is a spiritual renewal program within the Malagasy Lutheran Church that
prepares members of congregations to minister to the needs of people. They also are involved in
social ministry to human needs. For example, the Ambohimahazo Toby takes care of the
mentally ill and the extreme poor of their area.
 
Donations may be provided to help this Toby rebuild the destroyed living quarters. The total
support requested is $8,500.00. The gift may be sent via the mail (see our address on the web
site or via our Pay Pal link also provided on our web site.

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