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Earthquake Rocks East Africa, Child Killed, Others Injured


An earthquake struck east Africa, killing at least one child, injuring several others and destroying houses near the epicenter in eastern Congo. The shocks were felt hundreds of kilometers away in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, as well as in neighboring countries.

A powerful earthquake struck Africa's Great Lakes region in the remote east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The earthquake, which measured 6.8 on the Richter scale, shook buildings in Nairobi and was felt across eastern Congo as well as in neighboring Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

Offices were evacuated in Nairobi's business district and residents fled buildings across the region. But damage was limited as Congo's remote east is not heavily populated and there are few tall buildings.

Kalemie, which lies on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, was the closest town to the epicenter. Residents there said the ground trembled for 10 to 15 seconds, buildings shook and people panicked.

But by late afternoon, life had returned to normal and the death toll remained at one child crushed to death in a mud brick house while several other residents had broken bones.

Hours after the quake, residents of Kalemie said they could see no evidence that government authorities or aid agencies were doing anything to help people recover.

The earthquake was the first serious seismic event in the region since a volcanic eruption destroyed thousands of homes and killed at least 25 people in 2002 in the eastern Congolese town of Goma.

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