An earthquake of 5.9 magnitude hit North West Tanzania on Saturday 10th September, 2016, about 44 km from Bukoba town, on the western shore of Lake Victoria. Based on initial reports, the quake was shallow, occurring at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles). Shallow quakes generally tend to be more damaging than deeper quakes. The quake hit near the shore of Lake Victoria and the tremors rippled as far as western Kenya and parts of Uganda, both of which share the waters of Lake Victoria and as far as Rwanda. The earthquake affected area.there was a light after shock on the Sunday 12th of September. There is also a threat of cracked walls which may collapse. Moreover, it has started raining in the area. East Africa's Great Rift Valley runs along a geological fault line though major earthquakes there are rare. In 2007, a magnitude 6 quake struck the Tanzanian town of Arusha, east of Bukoba.
According to assessments done by the Tanzanian Red Cross Society (TRCS) in Bukoba township, initial assessment report identifies the following impacts:
20 deaths reported (13 adult, 7 children), 269 people injured, 905 houses totally destroyed, 1124 houses heavily to partially damaged (deep cracks)
The quake caused a lot of panic among the population, psycho social impact (trauma) and both the directly and indirectly affected were disoriented. (IFRC, 15 Oct 2016.)
Poor households in Kagera Region face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity due to the impacts of the September earthquake. Approximately 7,500 homes and buildings were destroyed, and there have been ripple effects through employment losses and a fall in remittances. (FEWSNET, 29 Oct 2016.)
An assessment was carried out by various government departments and the Chief Administrative Officer of Rakai (Uganda) appealed to the government and various stakeholders for support for the displaced population. An estimated 577 children aged 1-14 years were affected out of the 1,170 people in total who were affected. (UNICEF, 15 Oct 2016.)