July 4, 2013

Another Earthquake Hits Albertine Region

For the second time in two days, an earthquake swept through some parts of Uganda on Wednesday night forcing some people out of their homes for several minutes.

According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), the tremor’s magnitude was 5.7 with a depth of 20 kilometers. According to EMSC, the epicenter of the earthquake which struck at 10:21pm was in the Lake Albert region.

This comes just a day after a 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit the same region with Kigorobya Sub County in Hoima feeling the biggest impact. According to the United States Geological Surveys (USGS), the depth of the earthquake was 20.5kms. The tremor was felt in many parts of the country and as far as Bunia in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In Kabarole district, no damages were recorded by the tremor. David Atugonza, a resident of palace ring road at Harukoto in Fort Portal, says he was sleeping when he heard the bed shaking. Atugonza says that with the help of his wife, they carried their children outside the house until the shaking stopped.

At Kabarole Hospital, some patients also fled the hospital wards fearing that it would collapse. They waited outside the hospital for five minutes until the shaking stopped and were ordered to return to the wards by the medical workers.

Fred Karamagi, a resident of Nyakigumba in Kisomoro Sub County, says that residents fled their homes and remained outside for close to ten minutes. Karamagi says some residents still have the memories of the 1994 earthquake that hit the region.

In October 1994, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Kabarole district killing eight people and destroying numerous buildings. The epicenter was in Kisomoro Sub County.

In Hoima district, some houses developed cracks as a result of the tremors.

Faustino Adubango, a 30-year-old farmer in Buhirigi village in Kigorobya Sub County says he fled his house after bricks started falling off. Adubango says he feared to return to his house until the shaking stopped.

Charles Ginumbe, from the same village, says his also house developed cracks and was forced to seek refuge at the neighbor’s home, fearing the house will collapse on him.

Ginumbe and Adubango attribute the frequent tremors to the oil exploration activities in the Albertine region.

The most powerful earthquake recorded in Uganda occurred on March 20, 1966 in Tooro leaving at least 157 people dead.

The tremor with a magnitude of 6.8 and a depth of 36km lasted 3–5 minutes and hit areas near the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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