Earthquake in Tanzania kills 10

Posted on September 10, 2016 By

Note:  This post original appeared in the Natural Hazards, GIS and Disaster Management blog and is used with permission from the author.

Update:  The author posted an update on the earthquake’s impacts and response on September 12, 2016.

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck 23 km east north east of Nsunga in Tanzania on 10 September. The earthquake occurred at 3:27 pm local time with a shallow depth of 10 km (6 miles). The earthquake was felt in parts of Tanzania including Mwanza and Arusha, Uganda and Kenya.
The small town of Bukoba located 43 km (26.8 miles) northwest from the epicentre has been severely impacted.  10 people have been confirmed dead so far and over 100 have been injured. This figure is likely to change as more information comes in. Several buildings have been damaged or destroyed.
The town of Bukoba has very old buildings which explains why so many buildings have been damaged and destroyed in the earthquake. Infrastructure such as roads have also been damaged. The shallow focus/hypocentre also explains the damage and why the earthquake was felt so widely.
Zainul Naushad who felt the earthquake in Kampala, Uganda explained that their hotel was evacuated after the building started shaking and people started panicking.
Aliasger Lalji felt the earthquake in Mwanza, Tanzania. He explained that the shaking was weak.
Hemal Majithia also felt the earthquake in Mwanza. According to him the earthquake was weak. The first wave lasted between 8 to 12 seconds and the second wave hit 40 seconds later and lasted 4 to 5 seconds. 
Across Bukoba people have been shaken up and have decided to stay outside due to the fear of more earthquakes. The earthquake has caused widespread panic in Bukoba. Unfortunately, this has led to rumours of larger earthquakes occurring between specific times which is causing further panic across the town. In circumstances like these it must be remembered that rumours do not help the situation and will only cause further panic.  
Tanzania is no stranger to earthquakes due to the active East African Rift Valley. Mwanza has felt weak earthquakes in the past, this is however the first earthquake to occur near Bukoba. It will take months for the town to recover and rebuild what has been lost.
Aftershocks are likely to occur and people are advised to be vigilant and prepared.
Further updates including photos and eye witness accounts will be posted when information is available.
Did you feel the earthquake? Let us know about your experience!
You can also enter your experience on the USGS site: USGS Shakemap
For further information on the recording stations follow the link: IRIS Education
 


Video in Swahili
Epicentre Location (Source: USGS)
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking (Source: USGS)
Key to the above map (Source: USGS)
                                  
Key to the above map (Source: USGS)
Pager information from USGS: Estimated fatalities (Source: USGS)
Pager information from USGS: Estimated economic loss (Source: USGS)
 Intensity map showing how people felt the earthquake (Source: USGS)
Shakemap (Source: USGS)
PA Map (Source: USGS)
PV Map (Source: USGS)
PSA Map (Source: USGS)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
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Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
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Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
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Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
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Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)
Damage in Bukoba (Photographer unknown)

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