By HOPE BWALYA, CHILA NAMAIKO and ESTHER NG’ANDU –
SOME parts of Northern Province were yesterday hit by an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 leaving five people injured and 11 families homeless after their houses collapsed yesterday.
Geological survey director Chipilauka Mukofu and Kaputa Member of Parliament Maxas Ng’onga confirmed the tremor which struck lake Tanganyika.
Mr Mukofu said in an interview that the earthquake hit the province around 02:30 hours about 46 kilometres east of Kaputa and extended to Luapula province.
“There was an earthquake experienced with a magnitude of 5.9. The district is prone to such occurrences as it is near the east African rift valley,” he said.
The valley extends from Jordan in South-western Asia through to eastern Africa in Mozambique, with a 6,400 kilometre length and an average of 48 to 64 kilometre width.
Meanwhile, Vice President Inonge Wina told Parliament yesterday that three people sustained injuries after the earthquake struck the Northern Province.
Ms Wina, however, said Government was waiting for a comprehensive report from the provincial administration on the occurrence of the earth tremor.
The Vice President said it was unusual for the country to experience such occurrences.
She said this in response to Patriotic Front Kaputa Member of Parliament Maxas Ng’onga, who wanted to know the Government’s position over the earthquake during the Vice President’s question time.
But in an interview, Mr Ng’onga said 11 families were left homeless after their grass thatched
houses collapsed while five people are nursing injuries in Kaputa’s Northern.
The victims sustained head and body injuries and two of them have breathing problems and described their condition as critical.
Those injured include two women, one girl and two boys from different families.
He said the district through the District Commissioner’s office was on the ground to establish if there were other houses which could have been damaged during as a result of the tremor.
He said the District Commissioner Mulenga Fube and the council chairperson were already on the ground to assess and assist mitigate the impact.
He said the total number of affected homes would only been known after all the areas were visited.
He said the ones that were affected are the grass thatched houses and that the people were shaken by the tremor which was centered at 45 kilometers east of Kaputa.
By late afternoon Mr Fube and his entourage had just covered few kilometers on its fact finding mission.