DR Congo + 5 more

East Africa: Earthquake OCHA Situation report No. 1

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0217
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
DRC, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Earthquake - Lake Tanganyika
5 December 2005

This report is based on information received from the OCHA offices in Kampala, Burundi and Nairobi.


1. An earthquake measuring between 6.3- 6.8, with a depth of 10 kms in Lake Tanganyika region, occurred in the Great Lakes Region in East Africa on 5 December at about 12:19:55(UTC). From Congo-Tanzania it covered distances from: 55 kms SE of Kalemie in DRC, 150 kms South of Kigoma in Tanzania, 975 kms South West of Nairobi, Kenya. 1590 kms East of Kinshasa in DRC.

2. The epicentre is located in KUNGWE and KIDWESA, two villages situated near the Lake Tanganika in Tanzania. In North and South Kivu the magnitude felt was 4.2.

3. According to preliminary information received from the region, it was felt in DRC, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. There are reports of unconfirmed deaths, injuries and damage to property in Kabalo, Manono and Kalemie. Assessment teams have been dispatched to the affected areas. There are also fears that there could be casualties in smaller towns on the eastern side of Lake Tanganyika, distanced at 15 to 20 km from the epicentre. The tremor was also felt strongly as far as Nairobi. The quake also sent panicked people running from buildings in Kigoma, the main Tanzanian transport hub on the shores of Lake Tanganyika about 90 miles from the epicenter.

4. The OCHA Office in Kampala reports that there was commotion this afternoon in some parts of the city arising from tremors. People were hurriedly forced to evacuate tall buildings. The department of Mines and Geological survey at Entebbe, near Kampala was contacted but did not have any specific details.

5. While additional information is still being sought from regarding the situation on the ground, there are concerns of poisonous gas emissions from the ground of the lake. There are also fears of the possibility that the quake might have caused landslides.


6. The OCHA Office in Kalemie is in the process of gathering information on the level of assistance required. There appears to be some damage but the extent still remains unknown.

7. In the meantime OCHA Geneva will remain in contact with the Regional and field offices in the affected countries and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

8. This situation report, together with further information on other ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int.

MAP: East Africa: Earthquake - Situation map

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officer:

Mr. Alfred Nabeta
direct Tel. +41-22-917 2732
E-mail: nabeta@un.org

Mr. Jamie McGoldrick
direct Tel. +41-22-917 1712
E-mail: mcgoldrickj@un.org

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.