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Africa News of Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Source: newtimes.co.rw

Rwanda records earthquakes in aftermath of DRC volcano eruption

A destroyed structure in Rwanda's Rubavu District A destroyed structure in Rwanda's Rubavu District

Following the eruption of Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo, earthquakes have hit Rubavu District in Rwanda's Western Province, damaging people's properties and infrastructure.

Residents said small earthquakes could be felt during the night of Saturday and Sunday morning, but increasingly stronger ones started occurring from Sunday afternoon through to Monday morning.

"Heavy earthquakes started at around 9 pm; that's when my house started cracking. This morning the fissure in the wall became larger," Solange Uwimana, a resident of Byahi Cell, Rubavu Sector, told The New Times on Monday.

According to data from Rwanda Seismic Monitor, earthquakes were mostly experienced in Rubavu District but there were also trembling in Kigali and the Eastern Province.

In Rubavu town, a long fissure can be seen in the ground traversing residential houses, shops and one road leading to the border with DR Congo.

"The walls of my house have big cracks, and it's not because they were weak. The trembling happened every five minutes in the night of Sunday," Antione Murekezi, a resident of Gisenyi Sector, said.

"The small cracks are part of the bigger one that broke the road. We think there's an underlying rift."

Since Monday, officials have been monitoring the situation in Rubavu, gathering information.

According to official figures, at least 40 houses have been damaged by the earthquakes.

"We have talked with Rubavu District and agreed to rent houses for those families for two or three months; as the families look for ways to rehabilitate their houses," Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi, the Minister of Local Government told journalists on Monday.

He added that people should be careful with any information circulating about the earthquakes and eruption

The successive earthquakes varied in magnitude. The Seismic Monitor said that the heaviest quake recorded so far happened Monday at 10:37 am, with magnitude 5.1. It originated from Lake Kivu.

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