Trauma evident as quake cleanup continues

Photo: contributed

Saturday’s earthquake caused ‘extreme panic’ and left residents traumatized, says the Red Cross. Photo: contributed

Saturday’s earthquake in Kagera region caused ‘extreme panic’ and has left people traumatized and in need of psychological support, says the Red Cross.

“Many families who lost homes or who are afraid to return to damaged ones are staying in open fields and are exposed to the elements and other health risks,” says the Red Cross’ Fatoumata Nafo-Traore.

Nafo-Traore says the earthquake caused extreme panic in communities hit by the earthquake and many people are afraid and traumatized, especially children and the elderly.

“This makes them even more vulnerable,” says Nafo-Traore, who is director at the Red Cross’ regional office for Africa.

In addition to shelter, there is still an urgent need for medicines, food and psychosocial support for the affected, says Nafo-Traore.

“The township’s hospital is overwhelmed and has a limited supply of medicine.”

The Red Cross has raised the death toll to 20, while official government sources say the death toll stands at 17.

According to George Simbachawene, minister of state in the office of the president, 840 families were left homeless in the quake.

The earthquake, initially reported as magnitude 5.7 was upgraded to magnitude 5.9 by the US Geological Survey (USGS.)

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About the Author

Daniel Hayduk
Daniel is Dar Post's news director. When not in the newsroom, he spends his days helping NGOs across the continent find their creative side.