DR Congo: Population urged to evacuate for fear of fresh eruption from Nyiragongo volcano

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Nyiragongo volcano may erupt again very soon according to experts

North Kivu authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo have urged population in proximities of Nyiragongo volcano to evacuate immediately for fear of fresh eruption.

Nyiragongo volcano which is situated near the border between Rwanda and Congo erupted last weekend and dozens of people perished while properties were destroyed. Earthquakes that followed eruption are causing havoc in the Eastern city of Goma and the bordering Rwandan town of Gisenyi which is at the shores of lake Kivu.

On Wednesday, North Kivu Governor, Lt Gen Constant Ndima Kongba issued an alert asking people in eight neighborhoods that are closer to Nyiragongo volcano to evacuate. He said the signs are showing that Nyiragongo may erupt anytime soon.

“It is very important to stay away from lava flows which represent a danger of death from asphyxiation or severe burns, additional risks are linked to the interaction between lava and water. They are of several natures: interaction of magma with lake water, destabilization of the volume of dissolved gas under Lake Kivu and emission of potentially dangerous surface gas to populations exposed to the fumes, ” he was quoted saying according to Actualite Congo.

Lake Kivu has in abundance methane gas which is very dangerous when mixed with lava flows from volcano.

People from Goma have started to flee towards Rwanda and remote areas of Sake which is far from Nyiragongo volcano. Authorities told people to stay where they have fled to, until further notice.

Since last Saturday, earthquakes between 4 and 5 magnitude are hitting hard the city of Goma in Congo and that of Gisenyi on the side of Rwanda. Citizens were urged to stay out of their houses avoiding any consequences that may arise.

Goma is a town of more than two million population. It is at the foots of Nyiragongo and there is fear that if it erupts, consequences may be huge. Last time that Nyiragongo erupted was in 2002. More than 250 died.

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