Mount Nyiaragongo in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo Volcano erupted late Saturday, 22nd May 2021. Thousands flee Goma.
Around 8,000 people flee Goma as the Government urged the residents to evacuate. Many fled towards the frontier with Rawanda to seek refuge after the eruption on late saturday.
“This morning, after lava flows from Nyiragongo volcano have stopped, most of Congolese evacuated to Rubavu are returning back home. Rawanda received around 8,000 people last night”, the ministry said on its official Twitter account.
Dario Tedesco a volcanologist based in Goma said, “New fractures were opening in the volcano, letting lava flow south toward the city after initially flowing east toward Rawanda”.
Mount Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano located inside the Virunga National Park about 20 km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rawanda. It is considered among the most dangerous active volcanoes.
Its last eruption took place nearly two decades earlier in 2002. Around 120,000 people were left homeless and 250 were killed.This time as the red glow of the volcano was seen in the night sky, thousands of Goma residents fled the city on foot carrying their mattresses and other belongings.
All U.N. aircrafts had been evacuated to the city of Bukavu to the south and Entebbe in neighboring Uganda said a United Nations source. Across much of Goma the power was also cut out. An emergency meeting was convened in the capital, Kinshasa, by the Prime Minister Jean Michel Same Lukonda, where an evacuation plan was activated for Goma.
Since the bank cut funding amid embezzlement allegations, volcanologists at the OVG which monitors Nyiragongo have struggled to make basic checks regularly.The children were lost amid chaos as residents fled the nearby city Goma. More than 150 children have been separated from their families and more than 170 children are feared to be missing, said the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
Casualties of the unfortunate event
- Altogether 32 deaths by the eruption have been reported as of now. The death toll is likely to rise more.
- People are dying due to the toxicity in the atmosphere.
- More than 500 homes have been destroyed by the lava.
- 5 people died in a car crash while trying to evacuate said Peyre-Costa, the council’s spokesperson for the west and central Africa.
- In an escape attempt, 4 prisoners also died who were kept in Camp Munzenze prison.
- Around 25,000 people sought refuge to the Northwest in Sake, the UN children’s agency reported.
- More earthquake tremors are being recorded, volcano remains active