DR Congo volcano Nyiragongo erupts, lava

Mount Nyiragongo, a volcano in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, suddenly became active on Saturday, spraying red smoke into the night sky, news agencies reported.

“I can see high lava fountains and I think it is likely that it will be in Goma very soon,” says volcanologist Dario Tedesco. “Currently, people are not evacuating.”

Power was cut in the city and despite this statement, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that some residents were starting to leave their homes and on their way to the nearby border with Rwanda.

Residents took a strong smell of sulfur on the streets of the eastern city, located on the southern flank of the mountain and the northern shore of Lake Kivu.

However, no flow of lava could be seen from the city, said an AFP correspondent.

Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002, killing 250 people and leaving 120,000 homeless after lava flowed into Goma. Tedesco said the volcano has some of the fastest lava flows in the world.

Volcanic observers have been concerned that the volcanic activity observed over the past five years reflects that of the years before the 1977 and 2002 eruptions.

Volcanologists at the Goma Volcano Observatory (OVG), which monitors Nyiragongo, have struggled to carry out basic checks since the World Bank cut funding amid allegations of embezzlement.


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