Udayavni Special

Volcano erupts near Congolese city of Goma; residents flee


PTI, May 23, 2021, 9:15 AM IST

Goma: Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo erupted for the first time in nearly two decades Saturday, turning the night sky a fiery red and sending lava onto a major highway as panicked residents tried to flee Goma, a city of nearly 2 million.

No evacuation order was given by authorities, and there was no immediate word on any casualties. Witnesses, though, said lava already had engulfed one highway that connects Goma with the city of Beni in North Kivu province.

Mount Nyiragongo’s last eruption, in 2002, left hundreds dead and coated airport runways in lava.

The UN peacekeeping mission known as MONUSCO tweeted dramatic footage of the city alit, saying it was conducting reconnaissance flights over the city where it maintains a large base.

“The lava doesn’t seem to be headed toward the city of Goma. We remain on alert,” it said.

But that did not stop thousands from fleeing, many on foot, toward the border with Rwanda just beyond the city. Car horns honked and motorcycle taxis weaved as people attempted to escape in panic.

Others fled to Mount Goma, the highest point in the metropolitan area.

Dorcas Mbulayi left her home about an hour after the volcano first showed signs of erupting.

“We were eating when a friend of dad’s called him on the phone and told him to go and look outside,” said Mbulayi, who was still a child the last time the volcano erupted. ”Dad told us that the volcano was erupting and that we were going to go to Mount Goma to escape the lava of the volcano.”

She also blamed authorities “for not informing us in time about the possible volcanic eruption.”

The lack of immediate announcements from authorities and conflicting accounts circulating on social media only added to the sense of chaos in Goma.

Authorities at the Goma Volcano Observatory initially said it was the nearby Nyamulagira volcano that had erupted. The two volcanos are located about 13 kilometres apart.

Volcanologist Charles Balagizi said the observatory’s report was based on the direction in which the lava appeared to be flowing, which was toward Rwanda rather than Goma.

Goma sits along the border between Congo and neighbouring Rwanda and is a regional hub for many humanitarian agencies in the region, as well as the UN peacekeeping mission known as MONUSCO.

The volcano erupting is also close to the Virunga National Park, home to some of the last mountain gorillas in the world.

While Goma is home to many UN peacekeepers and aid workers, much of the surrounding eastern Congo is also under threat from myriad armed groups vying for control of the region’s mineral resources.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Mangaluru: Drug racket busted; Two peddlers including Nigerian arrested

K’taka govt launches ‘Sakshama’ Covid helpline for specially-abled

Nalin Kumar Kateel performs last rites of 12 unclaimed Covid victims

Network problem for online classes; Edu Min appeals to the government for solution

WTC final: Rain washes out first session of Day 4

No local body polls in Maha till 70 pc of people vaccinated: Minister

Over 47 lakh COVID vaccine doses administered on day one of revised guidelines



Related Articles More

Over 90 Indian factory workers in Sri Lanka test COVID-19 positive

Iran’s president-elect defends himself over 1988 executions

Sweden’s PM loses confidence vote amid housing crisis

Biden to meet with Ghani at White House amid US troop pullout from Afghanistan

Australia to soon change Cabinet with new deputy leader

MUST WATCH

Udayavani News Bulletin 21-JUN-2021

International Day Of Yoga

Trupthi | Student learns Yoga during Lockdown

Yoga at Work Place

Udayavani News Bulletin 20-JUN-2021

Latest Additions

Mangaluru: Drug racket busted; Two peddlers including Nigerian arrested

WB CM Mamata Banerjee moves SC against HC order on filing of affidavits in Narada sting case

Over 90 Indian factory workers in Sri Lanka test COVID-19 positive

K’taka govt launches ‘Sakshama’ Covid helpline for specially-abled

Nalin Kumar Kateel performs last rites of 12 unclaimed Covid victims

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.