Tanzania quake death toll rises to at least 13, more than 200 injured

BUKOBA, Tanzania, Sept. 11 (UPI) — At least 13 people have died and 203 people have been injured after the 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck in northern Tanzania on Saturday.

The quake struck near the western shore of Lake Victoria outside in the city of Bukoba, population 70,000, where a majority of the casualties were reported. Photos posted on social media in Bukoba showed buildings collapsed.

Local police said hospitals have been overrun with injured people and rescue efforts are under way to help people trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed structures.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake occurred at just before 3:30 p.m. at a depth of 6 miles and could be felt as far away as western Kenya and was unusually strong for the region.

“This incident has caused a lot of damage,” Deodatus Kinawila, the district commissioner of Bukoba, told the BBC. “Because we are still collecting the information it’s likely to go up. Even the number of injuries is likely to go up.”

The region is seismically active, but quakes tend to be low magnitude.

At least 270 homes have been destroyed and the power is out in parts of the city.

“Telecommunications have been disrupted and we are trying to get a clear picture of the damage to hospitals and other essential infrastructure,” said Andreas Sandin, the Red Cross operations coordinator in East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

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