TANZANIA: Earthquake Death Toll Rises to 17

DAR ES SALAAM SEPTEMBER 13, 2016(CISA) – The number of people killed following Saturday’s earthquake in Bukoba has risen to 17, Tanzania’s Minister of State in the Office of the President, George Simbachawene told the National Assembly September 13.

According to Simbachawene the 5.7-magnitude earthquake left 252 people injured and 840 families homeless. Over 1,200 houses destroyed need repair and the government has closed two secondary schools that were heavily damaged by Saturday’s quake.

Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa while attending the burial of the victims who died in the earthquake said the quake was shallow, occurring at a depth of 10 kilometres noting shallow quakes generally tend to be more damaging than deeper quakes, as seismic waves from deep quakes have to travel farther to the surface, losing energy along the way.

“This tragic event is unprecedented. We’ve never known this in our country,” he told mourners. “The government is with you. It will not abandon you.” A statement from the government said President John Magufuli who hails from Bukoba cancelled a three-day state visit to Zambia to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake.

Damage assessment is still ongoing, according to the U.N. office for humanitarian affairs. This is the biggest earthquake noted in Tanzania with a magnitude of 5.7 for over a decade.

Earthquakes are fairly common in the Great Lakes region but are almost always of low intensity. The quake’s epicenter was 23km east of the north western Tanzanian town of Nsunga, and was felt in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya, the US Geological Survey said.

However, no economical damages were reported in Dar-es-Salaam which is 1400 Km from Bukoba.

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