A strong earthquake has struck the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the same region where another quake killed dozens of people earlier this month.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck Congo's eastern Lake Kivu region early Thursday. The epicenter of the quake was located 25 kilometers north of the city of Bukavu.

Witnesses say the pre-dawn quake damaged some buildings and caused many people to rush out of their homes.

The French News Agency AFP cites medical sources as saying 44 people were injured in Bukavu, and at least 15 were injured in neighboring Rwanda. There is no official confirmation of those figures.

Two strong earthquakes that struck the same region on February 3 killed at least 44 people and injured hundreds more in the DRC and Rwanda.

All of the quakes occurred in Africa's western Great Rift Valley, a seismically-active area.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.