Multiple earthquakes of increasing intensity have been reported in South Kivu province since December 1, according to local specialists as of December 5. Four earthquakes have been recorded since the beginning of the month; the latest earthquake - the strongest of the four recently measured (4.5-magnitude) - was recorded near Bukavu overnight from Monday, December 4 to Tuesday, December 5. Additional earthquakes and aftershocks (possibly of greater magnitudes) are possible in South Kivu over the coming days.
Earthquakes are not uncommon in South Kivu province and surrounding areas. A deadly earthquake in neighboring Tanzania in September 2016 was reportedly felt in Bukavu. In February 2008, an earthquake in South Kivu left seven people dead and hundreds injured in the province, and 38 others dead in Rwanda.
Individuals in the affected area are advised to closely monitor the situation, to adhere to any instructions or advice issued by the local authorities, and to be prepared for additional earthquakes and aftershocks.
In the event of an earthquake, take shelter under a table or crouched in a corner (away from exterior walls) if indoors and protect your head with your arms. If outdoors, move away from buildings and other tall structures; if driving, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, away from tall structures. If caught under debris following an earthquake, keep all movements to a minimum and cover your mouth to avoid inhaling dust. After a major earthquake, check buildings for damage, including downed power lines or damaged gas lines, and evacuate until the building is declared safe. Only use your telephone in case of urgency so as to leave communication lines open for emergency services.
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