Panic As 5.0 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Oil Region

An earthquake swept through the Lake Albert region on Saturday morning forcing some residents to flee their houses.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) figures indicate the tremor’s magnitude as 5.0 with a depth of 23.2 kilometers. The agency recorded the earthquake’s epicenter at 3:30am. It shook the oil rich region and the neighboring areas of Bunia in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This comes just hours after an earthquake hit Situan Province in China. In the last three days tremors have been reported in Iran, Japan and China.

In Hoima district the shaking lasted about three minutes but residents could not stand it. Some of them fled their houses. Lydia Atugonza, a resident of Bujwahya in Hoima municipality says she had just returned to bed from a short call when the shaking started.

Atugonza explains that she jumped out of the bed to the sitting room and started praying as the house ceiling shook terribly. The scared Atugonza says she did not get sleep again.

In the neighboring Kakumiro in Kibaale district residents had their sleep interrupted too. Madinah Nakayiza, a journalist says she was only awakened by the falling flasks and plates as the ground shook heavily. She says she immediately fled the house for safety.

Meanwhile at the time of filing this report, there were unconfirmed reports that three houses had been demolished by the tremor in Rugashari Sub County, Kibaale district.

The region was last hit by a similar earthquake in March 2011.The 5.1 Magnitude earthquake also triggered panic among residents.

But  Ashraf Mugenyi, in his late 60s and a resident of Butanjwa in Hoima municipality, says the tremor cannot be equated to that of 1966 and 1994 which hit the Rwenzori region.

Mugenyi anticipates rainfall a few days to come. He explains that traditionally whenever an earthquake hits in the dry season it’s a sign of rainfall whereas that in the rainy season announces a dry spell

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