A 5.6 quake strikes East and Central African region

Earthquake Epicenter.Photo credit/disaster-report

Earthquake Epicenter.Photo credit/disaster-report

An earth quake has hit the central African region and tremors were felt in Rwanda, DR Congo, Burundi and neighboring and Uganda.

The US National Earthquake Information Centre (NEIC) confirmed that a 5.6 magnitude-quake hit the region early morning hours Friday, but initially it was calculated at 5.8.

In Rwanda, the earthquake was felt twice in a row, and the western province was hard hit leaving several infrastructure and people injured.

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (Midimar) has confirmed the quake killed two children in Rusizi, destroying one electricity transformer and injuring about 6 people in the western region especially in Rusizi, Nyamasheke and Gisenyi towns.

The quake was mostly felt in eight districts in the Lake Kivu belt. It injured four other people, partially destroying six houses. “We are still conducting an assessment of the damages.” Frederic Ntawukuriryayo, Midimar Communication Specialist said

Ntawukuriryayo also noted that the Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) is now monitoring the effects on the volcanoes and a public communique is yet to be released.

The same quake was also felt in DR Congo killing at least three people, according to Lambert Mende, the DRC government spokesman.

There were three deaths – two children in a house in Bukavu. There was also a police officer near the airport,” Mende told Reuters

Some cases were also reported in Burundi and Uganda.

The affected countries are in the provinces which are part of the Great Lakes region and North Kivu that contains the volcanic mountains like Virunga.

Rwanda has been hit by strong Earth Quake in the past, in 2008, a similar earthquake damaged up to 45 schools and health centers in western Rwanda’s districts of Nyamasheke and Rusizi in and at least 27,000 children were evacuated from schools, while 37 people died and 646 others were injured.

The architectural designs in Nyamasheke and Rusizi district have since been changed and new structures raised to address future quake occurrences.

Immediately after the quake struck, Rwandans took to social media to check on their friends and family and vice versa.

“Let us take a moment today to thank God for protecting our beautiful city and the entire region from last night’s earthquake,” one Joseph Rurangwa posted on Facebook