Nyiragongo volcano erupts in Democratic Republic of Congo, triggering panic | Environmental News

Some residents left their homes and headed to the nearby border with Rwanda. The city of Goma had no electricity.

One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mount Nyiragongo in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo erupted, and panicked residents of nearby Goma fled, even though a volcanologist said the city did not appear to be dangerous.

People grabbed mattresses and other items and fled to the border with nearby Rwanda, red light illuminating the sky above the city. Reuters reported that most parts of the city have been powered off and telephone lines are very busy.

Goma is the military governor of North Kivu, the capital, “confirmed the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano at around 7:00 p.m.” [17:00 GMT]”.

General Constantine Ndima said: “I ask the people to remain calm and follow the instructions of the Provincial Civil Defense Coordinator and the instructions of the police and armed forces.”

Residents picked up a strong smell of sulfur on the streets of the eastern town, which is located on the southern side of the mountain and on the northern shore of Lake Kivu.

Dario Tedesco, a volcanologist with nearly 2 million lakeside cities, told Reuters that Goma did not appear to be threatened, and the lava appeared to be flowing eastward-towards the Rwandan border. Earlier he said that he thought lava might hit Goma, but later he said that was not the case.

“I can see tall lava fountains,” Tedesco told Reuters.

INSO, which coordinates the security of NGOs, said in a statement that the lava cut off a main road from Goma to the north.

Translation: “The government stated that it is closely monitoring the situation in Goma, especially the activities of the Nyiragongo volcano. According to Patrick Muyaya [a Congolese politician]Reporter Stanis Bujakera wrote on Twitter: “The local authorities are currently assessing the situation with the volcano observatory in Goma, and will communicate in detail later.”

The last time Nyiragongo erupted in 2002, after lava flowed into Goma, it killed 250 people and made 120,000 homeless.

Volcano observers have been concerned that the volcanic activity observed in Nyiragongo in the last five years is similar to the situation before the eruption in 1977 and 2002.

Volcanologists at the Goma Volcano Observatory (OVG), which monitors Nyiragongo, have been working hard to conduct basic inspections because the World Bank cut funds amid allegations of embezzlement of public funds.

The Observatory said in its announcement on May 10 that there was an increase in seismic activity in Nyiragongo earlier that month.

Steam and jets of molten rock are depicted in the lava lake of Nyiragongo, an active volcano in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo [File: AFP]

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