DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The Tanzanian government and aid agencies have dispatched medical workers, food and shelter materials to the northwest region where an earthquake at the weekend killed 16.
The quake, which struck the Kagera region on the shores of Lake Victoria on Saturday, measured 5.7 and injured more than 250 people, local authorities said.
Salum Kijuu, Kagera Regional Commissioner said 840 homes had been destroyed and another 2,000 damaged, leaving thousands of families homeless. A smaller aftershock hit the region on Monday.
"We are trying our very best to offer necessary humanitarian support to the victims such as medical care, food and temporary shelter," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
He said authorities were still assessing the scale of the destruction and could not yet determine how many people were in need of assistance.
The government said on Tuesday it had dispatched 15 specialist doctors to the region.
East African neighbor Kenya announced on Monday it would donate iron sheeting, blankets and mattresses.
Renatus Mkaruka, a disaster management official with the Tanzanian Red Cross, said local volunteers and Red Cross staff had been deployed to provide medical assistance to the victims.
"We are doing everything we can to help and support people hurt and traumatized," he said.
(Reporting by Kizito Makoye, editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)