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"Copyright © – Attila Szili.
The reproduction, publication, modification, transmission or exploitation of any work contained herein for any use, personal or commercial, without my prior written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved."



I visited this very nice and friendly small country, with a terrific recent history, during the long rainy season and punctually like every afternoon, it was raining when I took this shot from the shoreline of Lake Kivu. It features a succession of deep bays, inlets and islands and marks the boundary between Rwanda and the D.R. of Congo. It also holds huge reserves of natural gas. Like the great lakes of Central Africa, was formed by the huge fracture in the African plate: the Great Rift Valley. At an altitude of almost 1400 metres the lake is devided between the two mentioned countries, as are the many islands it contains. Lake Kivu derives much of its beauty from the backdrop of the surrounding mountain chains such as the Congo-Nile Crest to the West and the Birunga Volcanoes to the North of which two are still active in Congo. As mentioned, thanks to the volcanic activity, beneath the lake bed are substantial reserves of natural gas, which since 1963 provides an energy source at the Bralirwa brewery in Gisenyi. Unfortunately the volcanic activity has caused also disasters like the violent eruption in 2001 and series of earthquakes registered a couple of weeks ago. I avoided the first and strongest of the series because in flight, while that of 5.4 magnitude was felt clearly also by me, in the early morning on 14th February. Short report of what happened and its consequencies:

- An earthquake of 6.1 magnitude and subsequent aftershocks hit South Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts of Rwanda on the morning of Sunday 3rd February.

- 44 people dead and 1,090 injured in DRC and Rwanda.

- 2,518 families have received assistance in DRC and 1,201 homes have been destroyed in Rwanda.

- On Thursday 14th February an earthquake of 5.4 magnitude, hit the same area. 1 person is reported dead and at least 65 injured.

The shot was taken in the small prefecture of Cyangugu, located at the frontier of two countries. The River Rusizi, which links Lake Kivu and Lake Tanganyika in Burundi to the South, acts as a natural border, where on the Congolese side, the border town of Bukavu stands at the end of a peninsula like a flagship that seems to be anchored in Cyangugu harbour. The settlement has two main areas: Cyangugu itself is the low-density district on the lake shore, while Kamembe, the higher density industrial and transport centre is further inland and to the north.
The city lies near Nyungwe Forest, one of the last remaining forest areas of Rwanda and home to chimpanzees and many other species of primate.

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Additional Photos by Attila Szili (atus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2069 W: 207 N: 4541] (15878)
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