Over 3500 people in Democratic Republic of Congo have been displaced and property lost after a volcano Mount Nyiragongo that has been dormant for over 20 years erupted in the wee hours of the night 2021. However, news coming show that no lives were lost.
Mount Nyiragongo, is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of over 3000m in the Virunga Mountains. Its’s located inside Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 20km north of Goma City. It’s known to be one of the world’s most active volcano and there were concerns that its activity wasn’t properly observed.
In January 2002, when it last erupted, fast flowing basalt lava poured out of the mountain covering
almost 1000 kilometers killing over 100 people in the nearby town of Goma mostly from the poisonous
gases that were trapped inside the volcano.
However, in 2015, Goma city experienced and earthquake that measured up to 4.7 on the ritcher scale.
This increased inflation which triggered the country’s authorities to raise an alert to all the settlers
around the mountain to vacate it quickly before anything harmful happened.
In 2016, a few sources who were closely monitoring this volcano Mt. Nyiragongo foretold of a possible eruption after they saw the mountain release magma accompanied by fumes from one vent in the eastern side terrace. This was accompanied by a few spews of lava eruptions to the sky covering over 80 feet every 30 seconds.
According to the Goma Volcano Observatory, the lava from Mount Nyiragongo eruption 2021 reached the city’s airport and the one route to Rwanda but stopped short of the urban areas. Investigations were underway and every citizen should follow the guidance of the civil protection. However, this observatory has been struggling ever since World Bank withdrew its funding over claims of embezzlement.
Residents who tried to flee from the city blamed the Observatory for giving them wrong information.
They made announcements of a Mount Nyamuragira which is approximately 13 kilometers away from Mount Nyiragongo.
Plans to evacuate the residents are underway as both the DRC government and United Nations have
already pitched camp on the city.
It should be noted however that Goma is home to six active volcanoes all of them higher than 3000
meters, one of which Mount Nyiragongo has erupted 2021. What will their fate be?
More details to come, keep it Times Uganda.