Powerful Earthquake Hits East Africa and Causes Panic in Kampala
Kampala after the eathquake: a photo of some of the Kampala residents gathered on the street during the quake that shook many city buildings.

Powerful Earthquake Hits East Africa and Causes Panic in Kampala


Ugandans are reminded of the geography of their region.

By Jude Bukenya
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First published: December 5, 2005


Kampala December 5, 2005
Being in Kampala’s tall skyscraper buildings is always a top point for those who work there, but it turned out to be a big disadvantage this afternoon.


At around three o’clock, many people in such buildings ran crazy as they panicked out the buildings to seek refuge from an earthquake that shook the city.

Seated from my office desk the earthquake which struck for over five minutes forced me to move to the main corridor of the building where I met people from other offices on Kizito Towers and the nearby Kirumira Towers taking turns on the steep steps as they all rushed down the many stairs.

People in the lower corridors and shops were amused to see people running down stairs for their lives.

Upon reaching down, a mammoth crowd had begun to converge outside the building watching over as it took swerves from east to west.

“The building was shaking and we feared that it may collapse and kill people but God is great that the earth quake lasted only a few minutes,” an unidentified woman said.

However later on business resumed and people went back to their offices to resume work but some anticipated more damaging tremors to follow.

It has not yet been possible to ascertain whether the earthquake caused any damage or loss of lives in Uganda.

The earthquake is reported to have measured 6.8 on the rector scale and hit East Africa at about 3 p.m. (East Africa is 3 hours ahead of G.M.T) The effects of the earthquake, whose epicenter appears to have been along the south-western arm of the Great Rift Valley, is not too clear in Uganda, but there are reports of injuries from collapsing dwellings and some damage in Congo. The earthquake caused panic as far as Nairobi, Kenya and in Kigoma, Tanzania and tremors were also felt in Rwanda and Burundi.

It is reported that an earthquake of such magnitude would have caused much more damage if the area had been more developed.

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By Jude Bukenya
more from author >>
First published: December 5, 2005
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Jude Bukenya is a senior political and business reporter with Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd.
judhe@ultimatemediaconsult.com