It was a strange Saturday morning for residents of Murundi sector in Karongi district in Western Province.
In unusual occurence, residents woke up to cracked houses. A huge split on one of the hills in the area had developed leaving several crops destroyed.
At least 16 families were affected by the crack that split the hill into two parts, local leaders on ground told Kigali Today – a KT Press sister vernacular news site.
“This is a strange disaster. We still don’t know what caused this. The crack is moving from one hill to another,” said Aphrodis Mudacumura the Executive Secretary of Murundi Sector.
The Ministry of Disaster Management has sent a team of its officials to investigate the cause of the cracking, according to Phillipe Habinshuti – head of rescue department at the Ministry.
It is not yet clear what the cause might be. However, according to geological analysts, the incident could be a result of massive rains that have pounded the country for the last four months.
“Earth is a changing planet but in most cases people don’t easily notice it. The current situation in Karongi could be a result of massive rains that have affected underground tectonics resulting into the crack,” James Mugugu – a Kigali- based scientist told KT Press.
In some cases, Mugugu says what happened in Karongi could also be signaling an impending Rift Valley formation.
“It may also form here,” Mugugu told KT Press.
A rift valley is a linear-shaped lowland created between several highlands or mountainous areas. It is created by a rift or fault.
It is formed on a divergent plate boundary, a crustal extension or spreading apart of the surface, which is subsequently further deepened by the forces of erosion.
The East African Rift Valley stretches over 3000km from the Gulf of Aden in the north towards Zimbabwe in the south, splitting the African plate into two unequal parts including Somali and Nubian plates.
The Eastern branch of the rift valley runs through Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.
In a similar occurence as Karongi, a large crack was recently noticed in the South-Western Kenya.