DAR ES SALAAM
Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Prime
Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Sunday visited Kagera region to
console people and inspect damage caused by an earthquake on
Saturday as the number of dead rose from 11 to 16.
Salum Kijuu, the Kagera regional commissioner, said the number
of people killed by the earthquake measured at a magnitude of
5.7 on the Richter scale rose from 11 on Saturday to 16 on
Sunday, adding that over 100 injured people were being treated
Kijuu said 840 houses were flattened to ground and 1,264
other houses developed huge cracks following the earthquake that
hit the region bordering Uganda and Rwanda.
"Over 40 buildings belonging to the government, including
schools, were also damaged," said Kijuu.
"Bodies of the deceased were brought to a national stadium in
Bukoba town for final prayers before they were ferried to their
native places for burial," said Kijuu, adding that the prayers
were also attended by the Prime Minister after he had inspected
some of the areas most affected by the quake.
Kijuu said no foreigners were killed or injured by the
earthquake. "All the victims are locals," he told Xinhua by
Speaking at the Kaitaba National Stadium, Premier Majaliwa
said a team of experts from the government will assess the
damage caused by the earthquake.
"The assessment will enable the government the degree of
assistance that it could render," said Majaliwa.
"The government will also cover expenses for burial of the
victims and will provide medical expenses for the injured
persons," said the Prime Minister.
He said the government will also seek technical intelligence
from international meteorological organizations to establish
whether such an earthquake will again hit the areas in future.
Wilfred Lwakatare, a Member of Parliament for Bukoba Urban
constituency, appealed to people who were not affected by the
earthquake to shelter their fellow citizens.
On Saturday, President John Magufuli sent condolences to the
bereaved families and prayed for those who were injured to
regain their health through speedy recovery.
"I am joining the families of the deceased, friends and
relatives and pray for those who died to rest in peace," said
President Magufuli in a statement issued by the Presidential
Directorate of Communication.
Gabriel Mbogoni, an expert from the Geological Survey of
Tanzania, said the earthquake was one of the most intensive ever
experienced in the east African country.
The earthquake jolted Tanzania’s northwest regions of Kagera
and Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria.