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Earthquake rocks DR Congo and Rwanda
06 February 2008

On Sunday 3 February 2008, a powerful earthquake rocked the volcanic region of eastern DR Congo and Western Rwanda, with devastating consequences. The main force of the quake was felt just outside Bukavu, a town on the edge of Kahuzi Biega National Park, and the heart of many of the Gorilla Organization’s community conservation projects. A number of people in the surrounding area were killed as a result of the earthquake and many more were injured.

Kahuzi Biega National Park is home to one of the last remaining populations of Eastern lowland gorillas and there were initial concerns that the earthquake was a result of a volcanic eruption inside the national park. This could have had catastrophic consequences for the gorilla habitat, but following a meeting with a local volcanologist, it was confirmed that the tremors were caused by the movement of tectonic plates.

Tuver Wundi, The Gorilla Organization’s communication manager in DR Congo interviewed Wafula Mifundu Dieudonné, a scientist from Observatoire Vocnalogique de Goma (OVG), about the earthquake. Dieudonné confirmed that the local volcanoes are under control and that the earthquake’s origins were tectonic. He also established that OVG would continue to monitor movements in the local area and the volcanic activity of all the surrounding volcanoes, stressing that the local population should stay calm.

Tuver’s interview with Wafula Mifundu Dieudonné can be heard on RTNC on the Radio Cosmos: Notre Monde programme in DR Congo on Thursday 7 February 2008 at 20:30 (18:30 GMT).
for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org