Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 10:09 UK

Kenyan panic after more tremors

Nairobi scene
Some workers in Nairobi refused to enter their offices

Panic has gripped parts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, after five days of repeated tremors with a magnitude of between 4 and 6 hitting the city.

Dozens of workers declined to enter high-rise buildings on Wednesday morning worried about their safety.

Internal Security Minister John Michuki said experts had assured him that no major earthquakes were being predicted.

The series of tremors are the result of a strong earthquake that hit Northern Tanzania, he said.

East Africa's Great Rift Valley runs along a geological fault line, but has largely escaped major quakes in recent years.

"I was equally shocked when I experienced the tremors while having a shower this morning but experts have confirmed that it is unlikely that anything is likely to erupt in Kenya," Mr Michuki told reporters after receiving a situation analysis report from seismological experts.

Map showing Tanzania and Kenya

The report by experts from the University of Nairobi says a total of nine tremors have been experienced in Kenya since Thursday last week.

The seismologists attribute this to volcanic activity at Oldoiyo Lengai Mountain area near Arusha in Northern Tanzania.

Timothy Leach, a tour operator at Ngare-sero Mountain lodge, which is located a few kilometres from Mount Lengai told the BBC News website that more tremors were experienced last night but it is now calm.

"We saw rocks falling from the escarpment at Lake Natron but there was no serious damage," Mr Leach said.

So far, no casualties or major damage have been reported but some buildings within Nairobi's central business district have been evacuated.

The strongest earthquake to hit northern Tanzania had a magnitude of 6.0 with its epicentre about 100km (60 miles) from the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha , the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

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