Cablegate: Rwanda: Situation Stable After Earthquake
DE RUEHLGB #0085 0351237
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041237Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5092
INFO RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0196
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0242
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 1056
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1821
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0376
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0168
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 1136
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0418
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0285
UNCLAS KIGALI 000085
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC EAID RW
SUBJECT: RWANDA: SITUATION STABLE AFTER EARTHQUAKE
1. (U) On the morning of February 3 a series of earthquakes
struck Rwanda and the DRC in the area of southern Lake Kivu.
The two most powerful quakes registered 6.0 and 5.0 on the
Richter scale. In Rwanda, the most severe shocks were felt
around the town of Cyangugu in the Western Province district
of Rusizi and in neighboring Nyamasheke district. The
Rwandan Red Cross told us February 4 that 37 people had died
and 299 were injured, with 15 critically injured patients
evacuated to King Faisal and Kanombe hospitals in Kigali
(local press reports had somewhat higher injury figures).
Two churches filled with Sunday-morning worshipers collapsed,
said the Red Cross, with some 200 houses rendered
uninhabitable. Many other structures were potentially
unsafe. Local residents in the affected areas were advised
to spend the evening of February 3 outside their homes to
avoid additional injuries.
2. (U) Mary Gahonzire, Deputy Police Commissioner of the
Rwanda National Police (RNP), told us that multiple GOR
agencies were immediately on the ground in response to the
quakes and that the situation was "under control."
Additional police, firemen, rescue teams and medical staff
were brought into the area, and several GOR Ministers visited
the sites personally to provide assistance and assess damage.
3. (U) According to the local director of World Relief, which
also has emergency teams in the area, in addition to the two
collapsed churches, one mosque was completely destroyed,
while 26 additional churches sustained damage that rendered
them unsafe for use. The director noted that World Relief
has been asked by the GOR to coordinate international NGO
assistance to local authorities.
4. (U) We have no/no reports of Americans killed or injured,
nor of damage to U.S.-owned property, during the quakes. We
will keep in close contact with Rwandan authorities and local
NGOs during their assessment and assitance efforts.