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8/21/2007

Another earthquake hits Tanzania

East Africa
A strong earthquake hit Tanzania on Monday morning, sending tremors hundreds of kilometres away in Nairobi. Residential and high-rise buildings shook for several minutes in the capital, causing renewed panic. The earthquake was the second to hit the region in less than three days. Another quake hit the region on Saturday morning. The 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck northern Tanzania, 85 km northwest of Arusha at 5.56am on Monday. The Saturday quake also measured 5.2 on the Richter scale. Residents along the Kenya/Tanzania border said Mt Oldonyo Lengai, an active volcano near Lake Natron in northern Tanzania, has been spewing out lava since Thursday last week. The magma from the mountain has forced people living in surrounding areas to flee. The volcano erupted last mon
th, causing a series of earthquakes in the region. The quakes saw workers evacuate high-rise buildings in Nairobi and geologists blamed the movements on stirring underneath the mountain. Kenya and Tanzania lie along the geologically active Great Rift Valley.

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KENYA - The 5.2 quake that hit on Monday was just the latest in a swarm. Since early last month the region has been receiving earth tremors of a magnitude between 4 and 6 on the Richter scale. The first tremor to hit Nairobi last month was on July 15 and it is believed to have originated from Lake Natron to the North of Tanzania on the Eastern arm of the Rift Valley. The USGS attributed the string of earth tremors that have affected the East African region as a seismic swarm. Their report suggested that the series of tremors could not lead to a major earthquake.
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