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23 dead in Rwanda quake

Posted February 3, 2008 22:47:00

At least 23 people have died in western Rwanda after a strong earthquake shook several countries in Africa's Great Lakes region, Radio Rwanda reported.

Ten people were killed "straight away when a church collapsed" in the Rusizi district of Southern Province, the radio said.

Thirteen others were killed in Rusizi and Nyamesheke districts and some 250 wounded were transported to various regional hospitals, the radio said.

Public buses were used to transport the wounded, a witness in Rusizi district said.

The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 7:35am (GMT) and measured six on the open-ended Richter scale, was 20 kilometres north of Bukavu in neighbouring eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

At least two people were killed and dozens injured in Bukavu, hospital sources said there.

The quake was also felt in Burundi, Francois Lukaya, a scientific official at the Goma observatory in North Kivu said.

- AFP

Tags: disasters-and-accidents, earthquake, rwanda