Friday, 7 August 2015

Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake on the western shore of Lake Kivu.

The United States Geological Survey Recorded a Magnitude 5.5. Earthquake at a depth of 10 km beneath the western shore of Lake Kivu, which forms the border between Rwanda to the east and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, slightly before 3.30 am local time (slightly before 1.30 am GMT) on Friday 7 August 2015. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event, but it was felt as far away as Kigali in Rwanda and Bujumbura in Burundi.

The approximate location of the 7 August 2015 Lake Kivu Earthquake. Google Maps.

Lake Kivu lies on the western branch of the East African Rift, which is slowly splitting the African Plate in two along a line from the Red Sea through Ethiopia, and which includes the great lakes and volcanoes of east-central Africa. This has the potential to open into a new ocean over the next few tens of millions of years, splitting Africa into two new, smaller, continents; Nubia to the west and Somalia to the east. This is not a smooth process as the rocks naturally stick together, breaking apart only when the pressure builds up sufficiently, producing infrequent, but sometimes quite large, Earthquakes in the process.

Movement on the African Rift Valley, with associated volcanoes. Rob Gamesby/Cool Geography.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organization Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.

See also...

NASA's Landsat 8 satellite observed volcanic activity on the Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo volcanoes in the Virunga National Park, to the northeast of the city of Goma, on 30 June 2014. Iridescent lava lakes could...


The Volcanic Observatory of Goma have issued a warning of a possible impending eruption on Mount Nyamulagira, an active volcano close to Mount Nyiragongo in the Virungu Mountains of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, about 25 km to the north of Lake Kivu. Mount Nyamalugira is often considered...



A Magnitude 4.6 Earthquake occurred at a depth of 30.8 km beneath Lake Albert, which forms part of the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic...


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