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TMA allays tsunami fears after big tremor

THE Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has allayed public fears over a possibility of a tsunami outbreak, following a 5.9 magnitude earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean, South East of the Coast Region on Wednesday night.

The tremor was widely felt in several parts of the country, but the Tanzania Geological Survey (GST) said that it had not received reports of injuries and damages as of yesterday.

The seismic activity that was experienced at 8:13 pm in different parts of the country triggered panic amongst some residents of Dar es Salaam and other regions.

According to TMA, following the earthquake beneath the sea, it conducted an analysis of reports in relation to the incident through its tsunami warning centre, to assess whether there was a possibility of a tsunami occurrence.

“The outcome of the analysis showed that there is no threat of possible tsunami following the earthquake because it did not have a lot of intensity and landslide that could trigger the seismic activity,” reads part of the TMA statement.

It further noted that, the tremor had not caused any impact on weather forecast system and pledged to continue updating the public if there would be any aftershocks in the sea.

The agency, however, assured people residing close to the Indian Ocean of their safety and advised them to continue with their daily routines.

A Senior Geologist at GST, Mr Gabriel Mbogoni, confirmed the occurrence of the earthquake along the Indian Ocean coastline.

He told the ‘Daily News’ in an interview that, GST had not received any reports of damages and injuries in relation to the tremor as of yesterday.

Mr Mbogoni called upon Tanzanians to observe safety measures such as to stay indoors until the shaking stops or stay away from windows, because such tremors are normally followed by smaller earthquakes.

For his part, University of Dar es Salaam geologist Dr Elisante Mshiu said the earthquake occurred about 83 kilometers southeast of Dar es Salaam, noting that such tremors are usually caused by geological natural forces.

He said, the tremor was very strong and felt in different areas, including Arusha, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro and Mara.

“The earthquake was strong, its intensity can be compared with the one that occurred in Kagera Region in September 2016,” he said.

He called upon people residing along the sea coast to continue taking precautionary measures against the possible effects, which can be caused by strong waves or aftershocks.

“Normally, the earthquake never hits once, it can recur in the very same area after a couple of days,” he noted.

In September 2016, a similar earthquake with 5.9 magnitude hit Kagera Region, killing an estimated 17 people, while 440 others were injured and about 2,000 houses were damaged and many people were left homeless.

Among the damaged infrastructure included schools and dispensaries. About 353 schools in Kagera Region were badly damaged by the earthquake.

A WILDLIFE researcher has said ...

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Author: LYDIA SHEKIGHENDA

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