BY Fredrick Ngugi, 1:43pm September 14, 2016,

Death Toll Rises for Tanzania, Neighboring Countries After Earthquake

A section of houses that were destroyed by the deadly earthquake in Tanzania on Saturday. China Daily

The number of lives lost in Tanzania’s deadly earthquake on Saturday has continued to rise as the country’s medical facilities grapple with the increasing number of the injured, according to the BBC.

In a statement Tuesday, a government official said the death toll has risen to 17 and suspected that it might rise further as rescue operations are still ongoing, reports VOA.

Tanzanian Minister for State in the Office of the President George Simbachawene told the country’s parliament that the 5.7-magnitude earthquake left more than 252 people injured.

In an interview with the BBC, Deodatus Kinawila, the district commissioner of Bukoba, one of the worst hit regions, said the earthquake is the worst to ever happen in Tanzania and predicted that the death toll could rise.

“Because we are still collecting the information it’s likely to go up. Even the number of injuries is likely to go up,” Kinawila said.

Unusually Strong

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake struck at around 3:30 p.m. at a depth of 6 miles and was felt in neighboring countries, including western Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.

Many have described the quake as the deadliest tremor to ever happen in Tanzania and the greater Lake Victoria region, whose quakes tend to be low magnitude.

Images posted on social media showed the major destruction of buildings in the town of Bukoba, which is estimated to host more than 70,000 people.

The last magnitude-6 earthquake in Tanzania happened in 2007 near Arusha Town, east of Bukoba, but no deaths were reported.

Saturday’s incident forced Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli to cancel his three-day trip to Zambia, where he was expected to attend President Edgar Lungu’s inauguration Tuesday.

Tanzanian parliamentarians have called on the government to ensure that the people affected by the earthquake are fully compensated.

“Some people have been discharged from hospital,” Deodatus added.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 19, 2018

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