13 killed and 203 injured in Tanzania earthquake

The earthquake was felt as far away as Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya, the US Geological Survey said.

Photo by: earthquake-report.com
Photo by: earthquake-report.com

Residents of Bukoba said several houses in the city had caved in.

At least 13 people were killed and 203 injured in northwest Tanzania when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit the country on Saturday.

The quake struck 43 km from Bukoba, a city on the western shore of Lake Victoria, at a depth of 10 km, the US Geological Survey said. An official from the city confirmed the death toll was higher than earlier reported but added that the situation was under control.

"The toll has climbed from 11 people dead to 13 and from 192 injured to 203," Deodatus Kinawilo, District Commissioner for Bukoba told AFP.

"For now, the situation is calm and under control," said Kinawilo.

"Some people have been discharged from hospital. We don't expect many more injuries. We'll see tomorrow."

Residents of Bukoba had said earlier that several houses there had caved in, and Augustine Ollomi, the Kagera province police chief in charge of the Bukoba district, had said "rescue operations are ongoing". 

The epicentre of the 1227 GMT quake was about 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of the north-western town of Nsunga on the border of Lake Victoria, according to the US Geological Survey.

Earthquakes are fairly common in the Great Lakes region but are almost always of low intensity.

The quake rattled the entire province of Kagera. Parts of Mwanza region further south also felt the quake but there was no impact, he said.

No damage had been reported in the economic capital, Dar es Salaam, which is located some 1,400 kilometres southeast of Bukoba.

The earthquake was also felt as far away as Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya, the US Geological Survey said.

"The walls of my home shook as well as the fridge and the cupboards," said an AFP correspondent in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

TRTWorld and agencies