Volcano Eruption In Eastern Congo Sparks Humanitarian Crisis As Buildings Burn, Thousands Evacuate
Update (May 23): The Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupted on Saturday, spewing lava flows in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Thousands of people evacuated a nearby city as homes and businesses were destroyed.
A nearby town, called Goma, a city of 2 million people, had nearly ten thousand people evacuate as lava rivers poured into its suburb in the Buhene neighborhood, where at least 500 structures were burned.
— Abdallah Nduhirabandi (@ANduhirabandi) May 23, 2021
Thousands of people have fled the city.
— Dom’s Buhendwa🇨🇩 (@BuhendwaDoms) May 23, 2021
The situation in #Goma is worsening. The lava has reached the airport and should not stop until the lake. Massive population movements towards the north or Rwanda. Some NGOs evacuating. #Nyiragongo pic.twitter.com/G4HEjdHJFD
— Tom Peyre-Costa (@Tom_Peyre_Costa) May 22, 2021
At least 7,000 people from Goma crossed into Rwanda Saturday night, fleeing the eruption.
— MwanzoTV (@MwanzoTv) May 23, 2021
A humanitarian crisis is likely developing in the Goma region as thousands are displaced.
The good news is that DRC government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya tweeted Sunday, “the evolution of the eruption throughout the night report that the lava flow has lost intensity and some earthquakes.” But he said now is when the “humanitarian situation” will be assed.
So far, things on the ground don’t look good.
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All of a sudden, volcano activity worldwide has increased in recent months. The latest eruption occurred on Saturday in the Democratic Republic of Congo, reported BBC News.
Lava from the Mount Nyiragongo volcano in the eastern part of sub-Saharan African country is spewing into the night sky. Panicked residents of Goma, a city of 2 million people located 6 miles from the volcano, are being evacuated.
“The evacuation plan for the city of Goma has been activated. The government is discussing urgent measures to take now,” a government spokesman Patrick Muyaya tweeted.
Dario Tedesco, a volcanologist based in Goma, told Reuters that a new fracture has formed, and the lava flows south toward the city.
The last eruption occurred in 2002 where more than 250 people were killed, and 120,000 were left homeless.
The New Times in Rwanda tweeted a short clip of the eruption. The close proximity of Goma to the volcano could result in disaster.
— The New Times (Rwanda) (@NewTimesRwanda) May 22, 2021
Conservationist Dr. Paula Kahumbu tweeted a stunning video of the lava flow.
BREAKING Mr Nyiragongo in DRC is erupting – video from colleagues in DRC. Hoping people can get away pic.twitter.com/vL8hm6vjPE
— Dr. Paula Kahumbu (@paulakahumbu) May 22, 2021
Lava is flowing onto streets.
GOMA: Du côté route cimetière MAKAO vers KIBUMBA .
Le macadam partiellement arboré des laves suite à l’intense Activité volcanique des NYAMULAGIRA et/ou NYIRAGONGO pic.twitter.com/G5EPJBkgrI
— Me Serge KAPEPELA (@kapepela) May 22, 2021
— INTELSky (@Intel_Sky) May 22, 2021
From afar, the eruption is terrifying.
Building structures burned by lava flows.
Some say lava flows are moving towards the Rwanda border, and the main road from Goma to Rutshuru has possibly closed.
Nighttime thermal anomalies from @JPSSProgram #NOAA20 #VIIRS are clustered on the east flank of #Nyiragongo towards the #Rwanda border, and cut the main road north from #Goma to Rutshuru. pic.twitter.com/RJPww0VN9c
— Simon Carn (@simoncarn) May 22, 2021
People are fleeing Goma.
Goma residents headed in droves to Rwanda to escape the eruption.
Some residents of #Goma in the #DRCongo have started arriving in #Rwanda, fleeing the eruption of #Nyiragongo volcano. The volcanic lava is heading towards the city of Goma.
🎥 Courtesy pic.twitter.com/Hf4JaDIErQ
— Jean Banks (@BJeanbanks) May 22, 2021
Sun, 05/23/2021 – 09:49