2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake

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2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake
2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake is located in Tanzania
2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake
UTC time ??
ISC event
Date * 5 December 2005 (2005-12-05)
Origin time * 12:19:56 UTC [1]
Local date
Local time
Magnitude 6.8 Mw [1]
Depth 22 km (14 mi) [1]
Epicenter 6°17′N 29°46′E / 6.29°N 29.76°E / 6.29; 29.76Coordinates: 6°17′N 29°46′E / 6.29°N 29.76°E / 6.29; 29.76 [1]
Type Dip-slip [2]
Areas affected Democratic Republic of the Congo
Max. intensity X (Extreme) [3]
Casualties 6 [2]
Deprecated  See documentation.

The 2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake occurred at 14:19:56 local time on 5 December with a moment magnitude of 6.8 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). The shock occurred along the East African Rift, an active continental rift zone in East Africa that is characterized by normal faulting, and initiated at a depth of 22 kilometers (14 mi).

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 in the 1990s and 2000s.

Dozens of houses collapsed in the DRC city of Kalemie.[4] 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.

Depending on several factors including soil types, prevalent construction techniques and the acceleration from the earthquake itself, earthquakes with magnitudes in the 6–7 range may or may not cause wide spread 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.[5][6]

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. ^ a b c d ISC (2015), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900–2009), Version 2.0, International Seismological Centre 
  2. ^ a b USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey 
  3. ^ USGS (December 1, 2008), EXPO-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2007-12, United States Geological Survey 
  4. ^ "Powerful quake rocks East Africa". BBC News. 6 December 2005. Archived from the original on 10 December 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2005. 
  5. ^ "East Africa quake buries children". CNN. Archived from the original (link expired) on 8 December 2005. 
  6. ^ "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. 

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