2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake

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2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake
2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake is located in Tanzania
2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake
Date 5 December 2005 (2005-12-05)
Magnitude 6.8 Mw
Depth 6.0 miles (9.7 km)
Epicenter Coordinates: 6°11′38″S 29°36′54″E / 6.19389°S 29.61500°E / -6.19389; 29.61500
Areas affected Democratic Republic of the Congo
Casualties 2

The 2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake occurred along the East African Rift, and struck at 12:19:55 (UTC) (14:19:55 local time at the epicentre) on 5 December 2005, with its focus approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) below the surface of Lake Tanganyika. Its estimated magnitude was between 6.3 and 6.8.

Early reports indicated that the heaviest damage was sustained by the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a region already ravaged by extensive war and extreme poverty. The area houses tens of thousands of refugees displaced by conflicts, such as the Second Congo War and the Burundian Civil War, that have plagued the African Great Lakes for the last decade.

Two deaths have been reported.[1] Dozens of houses collapsed in the DRC city of Kalemie.[2] Michel Bonnardeaux, a UN spokesman, said that most of the casualties were caused by falling zinc or steel roofs. The cost to rebuild the whole damage was 1.5 million dollars.

Although earthquakes with magnitudes in the 6–7 range are not normally associated with massive damage, in East Africa such seismic events can wreak havoc. The quake was centred roughly below Lake Tanganyika and – in addition to the DRC, where the most widespread damage has been reported – it was felt in Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, and as far away as the coastal city of Mombasa in Kenya.[3][4]

The tremor was felt in places as far as Luanda, Angola, where it was felt for around 20 seconds, enough to send people running in panic in search of a shelter. No damage was reported there.


  1. ^ "Two die as earthquake topples houses" (ARTICLE ARCHIVED). The Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2005. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Powerful quake rocks East Africa". BBC News. 6 December 2005. Archived from the original on 10 December 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2005. 
  3. ^ "East Africa quake buries children". CNN. Archived from the original (LINK EXPIRED) on 8 December 2005. 
  4. ^ "Magnitude 6.8 quake kills at least two in Congo". MSNBC. 5 December 2005. Archived from the original on 7 December 2005. Retrieved 5 December 2005.