Volcano erupts in the Congo spewing red fumes into the night sky
Volcano erupts in the Congo spewing red fumes into the night sky and sending residents fleeing for their lives into neighbouring Rwanda
- People frantically grabbed mattresses and other belongings as local power was cut and phone lines jammed
- Despite the panic caused by Nyiragongo’s eruption, experts say city of Goma does not appear to be in danger
- Feedback from a U.N. helicopter appeared to show lava was not flowing towards major population centres
By Tom Pyman For Mailonline
Published: 16:03 EDT, 22 May 2021 | Updated: 20:50 EDT, 22 May 2021
A volcano has erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, spewing red fumes into the night sky and sending residents fleeing for their lives into neighbouring Rwanda.
People frantically grabbed mattresses and other belongings and fled towards the frontier, while power was cut and phone lines were jam-packed in large parts of Goma.
Despite the panic caused by the eruption of the Nyiragongo at around 7pm, a volcanologist said the city did not appear to be in danger.
A United Nations source said a reconnaissance flight by a U.N. helicopter appeared to show lava was not flowing towards Goma or any major population centres.
The military governor of North Kivu province, General Constant Ndima, appealed for calm, saying: ‘Investigations are underway and people must follow the guidance of civil protection units’.
The volcano sits in the country’s Virunga National Park, which is also home to endangered mountain gorillas.
The Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupted on Saturday, spewing red fumes into the night sky over the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern city of Goma and sparking an exodus to neighbouring Rwanda
Power was cut in large parts of the city and hundreds of residents began leaving their homes and heading towards the nearby border with Rwanda
The eruption has turned the sky red over the city of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo
A Congolese woman, carrying possessions on her head, flees from Mount Nyiragongo volcano as it erupts over Goma
A general view shows smoke and flames of the volcanic eruption near Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
‘The sky has turned red,’ one resident, Carine Mbala, told AFP by telephone.
‘There is a smell of sulphur. In the distance you can see giant flames coming out of the mountain.
‘But there has not been any earthquake,’ she added.
‘People are leaving or preparing to leave,’ another resident told AFP, as the streets began filling up, some carrying as many of their belongings as they could.
‘The people are leaving or preparing to leave,’ an inhabitant said.
‘I am taking the children and getting into the car. There is a risk that the lava will flow on Goma,’ another said.
But for the moment, there is no sign of a flow of lava from the city, the correspondent said.
But the last time Nyiragongo erupted was January 17, 2002, killing more than a hundred people and covering almost all of the eastern part of Goma with lava, including half of the airport’s landing strip.
Hundreds of thousands fled the city.
The deadliest eruption of the 3,000-metre high volcano was in 1977, when more than 600 died.
Volcanologists at the Goma Volcano Observatory, which monitors Nyiragongo, have struggled to make basic checks on a regular basis since the World Bank cut funding amid embezzlement allegations.
In a bulletin on May 10, the observatory said there had been increased seismic activity at Nyiragongo earlier in the month.
Goma sits on the mountain’s southern flank and overlooks Lake Kivu.
The Goma region, which lies in North Kivu province, bordering Rwanda and Uganda, has six volcanoes, all higher than 3,000 metres.
People in the street as the Mount Nyiragongo volcano burst into activity, spewing red fumes into the night sky
Flames are seen in the outskirts of the city of Goma from the activity of the Nyiragongo volcano
Civilians watch the smoke and flames of the volcanic eruption near Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
Goma residents are seen leaving the city following a sudden activity of the Nyiragongo volcano
Congolese residents of Goma flee from Mount Nyiragongo volcano as it erupts over Goma
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