A MINOR earthquake wreaked havoc on Sumbawanga and Kalambo districts in Rukwa Region yesterday afternoon. In Sumbawanga Town most people fled from their homes, public buildings, including schools and health facilities and took refuge in open spaces.
The tremor minor ensued at about 12:18 and lasted for a few minutes causing panic among Sumbawanga residents as well as people living along Lake Rukwa Basin in Sumbawanga District and a small town of Matai, the headquarters of Kalambo District.
Shocked teachers at Majengo Primary School in Sumbawanga Municipal Council ran away from classrooms, leaving worried pupils some of whom fainted.
A number of residents interviewed by ‘Daily News’ said they were shocked by the earthquake, which shook most of the buildings. Some people thought their houses would collapse.
However, no destruction was reported. Rukwa Regional Referral Hospital in Sumbawanga Town, Dr John Lawi, told this paper by phone that hospitalised patients were also terrified.
“Thanks to God that there is no casualty reported here, but the tremor shocked patients as well as medical staff,” said Dr Lawi.
A mother of two children from Kizwite, who preferred anonymity, said she was washing her three-month baby in the house, when the tremor rattled.
She noted and fled from the house, leaving behind her baby to save her life. “I was washing my threemonth baby in my house. I was so terrified that I forgot to take my baby with me. I fled from the house to save my life,” she added.
Mr John Mbalamwezi said he was also shocked by the earthquake. He said he was feeding her chickens when suddenly everything around him began to shake.
He also noticed frightened birds fleeing. Similarly, Matai residents as well as those from Kasanga Village along the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kalambo District and Kipeta Village in Lake Rukwa Basin in Sumbawanga District confirmed being terrified by the earthquake.
According to them, the earthquake rattled everything around them even cows, goats and sheep, which ran around mooing and making a bleat in terror.
Reports from the Rukwa regional police office confirmed that the earthquake had hit the region yesterday afternoon, but no casualties or damage to property had been reported.