In a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that occurred in northwest Tanzania and was felt throughout the Great Lakes region killed at least 16 and injuring 250 others.
The quake occurred close to the border with Rwanda near Lake Victoria and Uganda. Quivers were felt as far away as western Kenya.
Most of the damages caused to buildings in Bukoda, a city of more than 70,000 people, social media images showed.
As rescuers scrambled to search survivors from Saturday’s quake, Tanzanian premier Kassim Majaliwa headed to Bukoba to attend a occasion at its stadium. He said, “This tragic event is unprecedented. We’ve never known this in our country. The government is with you. It will not abandon you.”
President John Magufuli, who is from the region, said he was “deeply saddened”.
The district commissioner of Bukoba, Deodatus Kinawila said, “This incident has caused a lot of damage.” He said later, “For now, the situation is calm and under control.” He added, “Some people have been discharged from hospital. We don’t expect many more injuries.”
A unit of 15 boys of a secondary boarding school in Bukoba are considerd to be among the 16 dead and 253 injured.
More than 800 buildings have been collapsed including 44 public ones. Bukoba city suffered widespread damage, with 270 houses destroyed and electricity disrupted. Its main hospital was stretched to nearly full capacity and had limited stocks of medicine.
No damage was reported in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam, which is located some 1,400 kilometres southeast of Bukoba.
The shake was felt across the country in Rwanda, with hotel staff and half-dressed visitors seen rushing out of their rooms in the capital, Kigali, when the quake struck.
The earthquake struck at a depth of 40km at 3.27 pm local time on Saturday (12:27).
Great Rift Valley of East Africa runs on a geological fault line but minor earthquakes there are infrequent.
In July 2007, a 6 magnitude earthquake struck the Tanzanian town of Arusha, east of Bukoba.