Local volunteers and staff from the Tanzania Red Cross Society are on the ground providing first aid assistance following a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that struck close to the border area between Tanzania and Uganda, near lake Victoria, yesterday at 3:27pm local time. Significant shaking was also felt in parts of nearby Uganda, western Kenya and Rwanda.
According to early reports, the earthquake has caused widespread damage in the worst-hit city of Bukoba, where electricity has also been disrupted. At least 15 people have been reported dead and 300 people have been injured. At least 270 homes have been demolished by the devastating quake.
Volunteers and staff from the local Red Cross branch are providing first aid and other basic care to those affected by the quake. Red Cross volunteers and staff are working on the ground as well as in the city’s main hospital, which is currently stretched to nearly full capacity and has limited stock of medicine.
“Red Cross staff and volunteers are doing everything they can to help and support people hurt and traumatised. Telecommunications have been disrupted and we are trying to get a clear picture of the damage to hospitals and other essential infrastructure. The Tanzania Red Cross is readying more volunteers and staff to support the people of Bukoba,” said Andreas Sandin, operations coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands.
The Tanzania Red Cross Society is coordinating closely with authorities to respond in affected areas. In Uganda and Kenya, the local National Red Cross Societies are also working with their governments to get a clearer picture of the impact. So far, no further damages have been reported in Kenya, and minor damages reported in Uganda.
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For updates on the developing situation, please follow: @IFRCAfrica or @Federation.
For more information or to arrange for interviews, please contact:
In Dar es Salaam:
Renatus Mkaruka, Disaster Management and Risk Reduction, Tanzania Red Cross Society
Email: email@example.com Tel: +255 713 412 791
Khamar Kashoro, Public Relations and Communications, Tanzania Red Cross Society
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +255 755 195 031
Andreas Sandin, Operations Coordinator, IFRC East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands
Email: Andreas.email@example.com Tel: +254 732 508 060 Skype: andy.sandin
Reeni Amin Chua, Acting Communications Manager, IFRC Africa
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +254 731 688 613 / +41 79 708 6273 Twitter: @reeniac
Benoit Matsha-Carpentier, Team Leader, Public Communications, IFRC
Email: Benoit.email@example.com Tel: +41 79 213 24 13 Twitter: BenoistC