13 dead, 200 injured in Tanzania earthquake: Local official

A photo posted to social media after the earthquake.
A photo posted to social media after the earthquake.PHOTO: TWITTER

DAR ES SALAAM (AFP) - At least 13 people were killed and 203 injured in north-west Tanzania when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit the country on Saturday (Sept 10), local authorities told AFP.

"The toll has climbed from 11 people dead to 13 and from 192 injured to 203," said Deodatus Kinawilo, District Commissioner for Bukoba, the town close to the epicentre of the quake.

"For now, the situation is calm and under control," said Kinawilo, who was reached by telephone.

"Some people have been discharged from hospital," he told AFP. "We don't expect many more injuries. We'll see tomorrow."

Residents of Bukoba said earlier that some houses there had caved in, and Augustine Ollomi, the Kagera province police chief in charge of the Bukoba district said "rescue operations were ongoing".

The earthquake was felt as far as nearby Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya, the US Geological Survey said.

"The walls of my home shook as well as the fridge and the cupboards," said an AFP correspondent in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

The epicentre of the 1227 GMT quake was about 25km east of the north-western town of Nsunga on the border of Lake Victoria.

Earthquakes are fairly common in the Great Lakes region but are almost always of low intensity.

An AFP correspondent in the Tanzanian capital whose mother's family lives in Bukoba said 10 family houses had collapsed and that the regional hospital was overwhelmed and could not handle any more patients.

"My brother was driving around town, suddenly he heard the ground shaking and people starting running around and buildings collapsing," he said.

No damage had been reported in the capital, Dar es Salaam, he added.