2008 Lake Kivu earthquake

The 2008 Lake Kivu earthquake shook several countries in Africa's Great Lakes region at 07:34:12 (GMT) on February 3. It measured 5.9 on the moment magnitude scale. The epicentre was 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Bukavu at Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.[4]

2008 Lake Kivu earthquake
2008 Lake Kivu earthquake.jpg
UTC time2008-02-03 07:34:11
ISC event13213409
Local dateFebruary 3, 2008 (2008-02-03)
Local time09:34:11 CAT
Magnitude5.9 Mw
Depth10 km (6 mi)
Epicenter2°18′50″S 28°53′46″E / 2.314°S 28.896°E / -2.314; 28.896Coordinates: 2°18′50″S 28°53′46″E / 2.314°S 28.896°E / -2.314; 28.896
Areas affectedRwanda
DR Congo
Total damageSevere [1]
Casualties44 dead, 349+ injured [2][3]

Tectonic summaryEdit

According to the USGS,[5]

The earthquake occurred in the Western Rift of the East African rift system. The East African rift system is a diffuse, approximately 3000-km-long, zone of crustal extension that passes through eastern Africa from Djibouti and Eritrea on the north to Malawi on the south and that constitutes the boundary between the Africa plate on the west and the Somalia plate on the east. At the earthquake's latitude, the Africa and Somalia plates are spreading apart at a rate of about four millimeters per year. The earthquake occurred near Lake Kivu, the basin of which was created by normal faulting similar to that which produced the February 3 earthquake. The largest earthquake to have occurred in the rift system since 1900 had a magnitude of about 7.6. The epicenter of the February 3, 2008, earthquake is within several tens of kilometres (miles) of the epicenter of a magnitude 6.2 earthquake that killed two people in Goma in October 2002. Earthquakes within the East African rift system occur as the result of both normal faulting and strike-slip faulting.


At least 25 people were confirmed dead in Rwanda, with a further 200 seriously injured. Ten people were killed when a church collapsed in the Rusizi District of Western Province in Rwanda, according to Rwanda radio.[6] In the Democratic Republic of Congo at least 5 died and 149 were seriously injured.[7]


  1. ^ National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS) (1972), Significant Earthquake Database (Data Set), National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA, doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K
  2. ^ "Earthquakes kill 39 in Rwanda, Congo - CNN.com". Archived from the original on September 26, 2008.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2014-02-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Deadly earthquake shakes Rwanda". BBC Online. 2008-02-03. Archived from the original on 4 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
  5. ^ https://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2008mzam.php#summary Archived February 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "23 dead in Rwanda earthquake: radio". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2008-02-03. Archived from the original on 6 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
  7. ^ "Death toll from Rwanda, Congo quakes hits 30". Reuters. 2008-02-03. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-03.

External linksEdit