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Tuesday 27 March 2012

ShelterBox responds to explosion in Congo
ShelterBox responds to explosion in Congo Photograph by NASA/GSFC, Rapid Response.

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has arrived in the Republic of the Congo's capital of Brazzaville to assess the need for emergency humanitarian aid. 

An arms depot exploded on March 8, rocking the riverside city. It ripped apart the nearby neighborhood Mpila, killing more than 300 people and injuring 3,500 others. Houses near the disaster have been flattened displacing a further 14,000. 

A short circuit was to blame for the fire that sparked several explosions, according to a government spokesperson, who also promised to move military barracks out of town as a result. 

France-based SRT members John Diksa and Nicolas Ducrocq are meeting with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Bolloré, a logistics company in Africa, to carry out a needs assessment and discuss logistics for a distribution plan. 

"We are assessing the need across nine different sites where the displaced families are over the next couple of days," said Diksa. "One site is at a cathedral where 3,500 people are living in makeshift shelters around it. Their standards of living have been lowered even more with the heat and rain. We will provide emergency shelter to those families who are in the most need." 

64 ShelterBox tents are in Brazzaville ready to be rapidly distributed when the need becomes clear.
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