Mount Nyiragongo volcano : Lava reaches airport in DR Congo after volcanic eruption

Insight Online News

Kinshasa, May 23 : After an erupted of the Mount Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the lava flow reached the airport in the nearby Goma city on Sundaym prompting authorities to launch evacuation plans.

The evacuation plan for Goma has been activated, Xinhua news agency quoted government spokesman Patrick Muyaya as saying.

“The government is discussing urgent measures to be taken now,” Muyaya tweeted.

Thousands of Goma residents have fled the city on foot to reach the border with Rwanda as the city with a population of nearly 2 million was illuminated with orange flames.

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi is returning from Europe to oversee the relief efforts and is closely monitoring the security and humanitarian situation in the country’s eastern North Kivu province, his office said.

North Kivu Governor, Lt. Gen. Ndima Kongba Constant, said in a televised address on Saturday that local civil defence forces started evacuating Goma residents following the eruption.

The Nyiragongo volcano, located not far from the DR Congo’s border with Rwanda, started to erupt on Saturday.

According to the Goma-based volcanological monitoring office, the lava is heading towards the border with Rwanda.

The city of Goma is home to two active volcanoes, Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo.

The last time a major Nyiragongo eruption occurred was in 2002, when about 250 people were killed and 120,000 others left homeless.

Saturday’s eruption of Nyiragongo is similar to that in 2002, said the authorities, adding that other districts of the city were not in danger as the lava was unlikely to reach those areas.

Earlier, General Constant Ndima, military governor of North Kivu province, of which Goma is capital, appealed for calm and urged people to follow the guidance of civil protection units.

IANS / AGENCY

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