The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake at a depth of 40 km, roughly 22 km to the northeast of Nsunga in the Kagera Region of northwestern Tanzania, slightly before 3.30 pm local time (slightly before 12.30 pm GMT) on Saturday 10 September 2016. There have been at least fourteen fatalities following this event, and over 200 injuries, as well as a large number of building collapses; the damage has been more severe than would be expected for an event of this size, largely because it occurred in an area where Earthquakes this large are rare and few if any buildings are Earthquake proofed. People have reported feeling the event across northwest Tanzania, as well as most of Rwanda, southern Uganda and parts of Kenya and Burundi.
Damage in Bukoba, Tanzania following the 10 September 2016 Earthquake. AFP.
Western Tanzania lies within the the of the Great Rift Valley, which is slowly splitting the African Plate in two along a line from the Red Sea through Ethiopia, and which includes the great lakes and volcanoes of east-central Africa. This has the potential to open into a new ocean over the next few tens of millions of years, splitting Africa into two new, smaller, continents; Nubia to the west and Somalia to the east.
Movement on the African Rift Valley, with associated volcanoes. Rob Gamesby/Cool Geography.
Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.
The approximate location of the 10 September 2016 Kagera Earthquake. Google.
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