Volcano Erupts in Eastern Congo for the first time in years, causing panic in Millions
Credit: Raphael Kaliwavyo (AP)

The Democratic Republic of Congo contains a volcano that erupted on Saturday. Due to the eruption, the sky turned a scary red and led the clearing plans to be started in the main city devastated by Mount Nyiragongo’s last activity.

In January 2002, the volcano in central Africa filled the city of Goma with lava for the last time, because of which 100,000 people lost their homes and somewhat hundreds lost their life. Up to one million people live near the active crater, with Goma and which was just a dozen miles south.

Patrick Muyaya, a spokesperson from the DRC government said on Saturday that Goma’s clearing plans had been started. Also, the Associated Press reported that thousands had already left the place on foot. A red shining eruption video shared on social media shows and can be heard scary noise of people and honking horns. More than 3,500 Congolese people had asked for refuge across the border nearby Rwanda, Rwandan officials said.

The lava from the erupted volcano headed towards the highway which links Goma with the city of Beni, according to the AP. Reuters said that Lava is also approaching an airport as the city has to struggle with power outages. Mixed assessments are given by Officials and experts on the threat that Lava has on Goma.

A United Nations peacekeeping mission in that area said that it seems Goma is out of danger, though officials remained on “alert.” The British embassy in the Congo says, “Current assessments and checking indicate eruption doesn’t threaten the city itself”

Celestin Kasereka, who leads scientific research at the Goma Volcano Observatory, told reporters that he also doubts that Lava could reach Goma. But a volcanologist in Goma named Dario Tedesco said to Reuters that after the initial heading of Lava towards Rwanda it was flowing towards the city. He further said that Now Goma is at the target, similar to the 2002 tragedy. It might stop before or go on and it is difficult to predict.

The U.N. MISSION tweeted that it was running reconnaissance flights and shared footage of the scary landscape.

President Félix Tshisekedi of Congo conveyed that he would cut his tour of Europe short and return to the country Sunday to coordinate the help.

Government spokesperson Muyaya said that the prime minister had called an emergency meeting. The authorities have to set more plans and preparation in motion Sunday. He requested people not to engage “everything that is being said in social media” as they are in very serious situations that have to be handled calmly. He pledged that officials would do their best to keep people updated and manage this tragedy.

The AP said that there was no immediate news of casualties, as some of the local people complained that there was a delay in information. Dorcas Mbulayi told the Associated Press that she left her home of Mount Goma as a volcanic eruption started. She also convicted officials for not informing about the possible volcanic eruption on time.

The deadly eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in 1977, led 2000 people to lose their lives. Volcanologist Dario Tedesco told Science magazine last year this volcano was the most dangerous and also suggested that another tragedy could strike.
A geochemist and geohazard researcher at Goma Volcano Observatory named Charles Balagizi posted footage of a cloud of smoke that lit a bright sky and led the dark sky with lights of buildings all around.

Later posted another video, Balagizi said there is an opening from which the volcano erupts, which had developed near Majorca.


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