Congo-Kinshasa: New Earthquake Hits Lake Kivu

14 February 2008

An earthquake hit the Lake Kivu region today and was reported to have brought down houses and injured people.

Monitoring carried out by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) indicated that the quake measured 5.4 on the Richter scale and that its epicentre was 25 km north of Bukavu. It follows a bigger earthquake 11 days ago, which killed nearly 40 people in the region.

Agence France Presse today reported the mayor of Bukavu, Guillaume Bonga, as saying the earthquake has caused panic:

"A lot of people left their homes during the night," he said. "Some houses have collapsed and there are injuries, but I do not yet have the details," said  mayor of Bukavu, the provincial capital."

The region is part of the East African Rift System, which stretches from Ethiopia in the north to the Zambezi River in the south. It is, according to the USGS "a rare example of an active continental rift zone, where a continental plate is attempting to split into two plates which are moving away from one another."

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