The Tanzanian lakeside town of Bukoba, closest to the earthquake experienced mid-afternoon, is only 45 kilometers from the epicenter which was close to the border with Uganda.
Reports emerging now speak of an initial death toll of up to 11 people with scores more injured and being treated in hospitals and health centers. Damage caused to buildings, both commercial and residential, has also been documented through tweets sent out by people living in Bukoba. Pictures were also received by the same means of roads rendered impassable through deep cracks in the tarmac surface.
Photo: Suphian Juma
Tanzania President John Magufuli expressed his shock over the unfolding disaster as the remote location has made a full assessment impossible at this time. He shared his condolences and sympathy with those affected by loss of life and property.
It is understood that a major army intervention will roll out in the morning with emergency services being dispatched from urban centers to Bukoba and the surrounding areas to assist the injured and provide tents, water, and food to those worst hit.
Condolences are also expressed to the people of Tanzania by this correspondent with best wishes for a speedy recovery for those injured in the quake.