2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Natural Disasters

Location of earthquake
Location of earthquake

An earthquake along the East African Great Rift Valley faultline struck at 12:19:55 ( UTC) (14:19:55 local time at the epicentre) on 5 December 2005 approximately 10 km (6 miles) below the surface of Lake Tanganyika. Its estimated magnitude was between 6.3 and 6.8.

Early reports indicated that the heaviest damage was sustained by the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a region already ravaged by extensive war and extreme poverty. The area houses tens of thousands of refugees displaced by conflicts, such as the Second Congo War and the Burundian Civil War, that have plagued the African Great Lakes for the last decade.

Two deaths have been reported so far. Dozens of houses collapsed in the DRC city of Kalemie. Michel Bonnardeaux, a UN spokesman, said that most of the casualties were caused by falling zinc or steel roofs.

Although earthquakes with magnitudes in the 6-7 range are not normally associated with massive damage, in East Africa such seismic events can wreak havoc. The quake was centred roughly below Lake Tanganyika and — in addition to the DRC, where the most widespread damage has been reported — it was felt in Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, and as far away as the coastal city of Mombasa in Kenya.

The tremor was felt in places as far as Luanda, Angola, where it was felt for around 20 seconds, enough to send people running in panic in search of a shelter. No damage was reported there.

Retrieved from " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Lake_Tanganyika_earthquake"