TANZANIAN P.M. VISITS QUAKE-HIT REGION AS DEATH TOLL RISES TO 16

Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Sunday visited the Kagera region to console people and inspect damage caused by an earthquake on Saturday as the number of dead rose from 11 to 16.

Salum Kijuu, the Kagera regional commissioner, said the number of people killed by the earthquake, which was measured at a magnitude of 5.7 on the Richter scale, rose from 11 on Saturday to 16 on Sunday, adding that more than 100 injured people were being treated in hospitals.

Kijuu said 840 houses were flattened and 1,264 other houses developed huge cracks following the earthquake which hit the region on the border of Uganda and Rwanda.

"Over 40 buildings belonging to the government, including schools, were also damaged," said Kijuu. "Bodies of the deceased were brought to a national stadium in Bukoba town for final prayers before they were ferried to their native places for burial,"

Kijuu added that the prayers were also attended by the Prime Minister after he had inspected some of the areas most affected by the quake. Kijuu said no foreigner was killed or injured by the earthquake. "All the victims are locals," he told Xinhua by telephone.

Speaking at the Kaitaba National Stadium, Majaliwa said a team of experts from the government would assess the damage caused by the earthquake. "The assessment will enable the government the degree of assistance that it could render," he added.

"The government will also cover expenses for burial of the victims and will provide medical expenses for the injured persons," said the Prime Minister.

He said the government will also seek technical intelligence from international meteorological organizations to establish whether such an earthquake will again hit the areas in future.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK