DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — At least 11 people were killed and over 200 others were injured on Saturday as an earthquake measuring 5.7 hit northwestern Tanzania, said police.
The earthquake jolted Tanzania’s northwest regions of Kagera and Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Kagera regional police commander Augustino Olomi said at least 16 people have been killed in the earthquake and over 250 others injured.
Salum Kijuu, the Kagera regional commissioner, told Xinhua in a telephone interview that the morning earthquake also left tens of hundreds of houses and other property damaged.
“It is too early to give the exact number of injured people, and the number of damaged property, including houses,” said Kijuu, adding that rescue teams had been deployed to affected areas.
“But we think the damage is huge. Most of the victims have been rushed to hospitals but we are facing a problem of shortage of medicines,” said Kijuu.
He said the earthquake hit the areas beginning at 9:27 a.m. local time, sending people into panic with most of them abandoning their properties.
Emelensiana Benjamin, a resident of Kagera region, said the earthquake left houses with huge cracks.
“The situation is worrying because some of the houses could fall down anytime,” she told Xinhua by phone.
She said the earthquake was also reported in Simiyu and Mara regions, adding that many people came running from their houses when the earthquake hit.
“Panic and fear engulfed many residents across the region because they did not know what was happening,” she said.
Augustino Nduganda, an officer with the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) in Mwanza region, confirmed that there was a huge earthquake, but he said it was too early to give details.