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30 injured by new quake in central Africa: officials

by Staff Writers
Bukavu, Dr Congo (AFP) Feb 14, 2008
A second big earthquake in less than two weeks brought down houses and left at least 60 people injured in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda on Thursday, officials said.

The quake measured 5.5 on the Richter scale, according to monitors, the biggest since the 6.1 quake in the central African Great Lakes region that killed at least 45 people and left thousands homeless on February 3.

There were more than 44 injured in Bukavu, capital of DR Congo's Sud-Kivu province, and at least 15 injured in neighbouring Rwanda, including a woman in the capital Kigali, medical sources said.

Panicked residents rushed from their homes after the main quake, which the Goma Vulcanology Observatory said struck at 4:07 am (0207 GMT). Its epicentre was about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of Bukavu.

"The tremor provoked a lot of panic. A lot of people left their homes during the night. Some houses have collapsed and there are injuries," said Guillaume Bonga, mayor of Bukavu, the provincial capital.

"We already have 44 injured counted in Bukavu, 31 of them in the Bagira district, the hardest hit," Rick Shamavu, head of emergency medical services in the province, told AFP.

"This is a provisional toll. We are still going round the town."

The mayor of Rwanda's Rusizi district said that 14 people had been badly injured there and scores were made homeless.

Rwandan Prime Minister Bernard Makuza said on Radio Rwanda that 9.8 million dollars (6.7 million euros) had been made available to help earthquake victims.

"Eleven tremors were felt during the night in Bukavu, but seismic activity has been much bigger than that: in 24 hours, 200 aftershocks were registered," said Dieudonne Wafula, a geophysicist from the Goma Vulcanology Observatory.

Wafula was in Bukavu, but Goma is the main town in Nord-Kivu province and lies near active volcanoes. The latest biq earthquake in the region brought down a number of buildings that had already been structurally damaged on February 3.

Many Bukavu residents told an AFP correspondent in town they were reluctant to return home while the ground was still being shaken. This month's earlier disaster struck when hundreds of people were at Sunday morning church services.

More than 12,000 quake victims in Sud-Kivu have already received emergency help from UN agencies, according to the United Nations, which estimates the number of homes and public buildings damaged on February 3 at 3,465.

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Greek Govt Appeals For Calm After Two Big Quakes Strike Peloponnese
Athens (AFP) Feb 14, 2008
Greece's earthquake protection organisation on Thursday called for calm after two powerful quakes jolted the south of the country, as no injuries or damage had been reported.

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