A local military spokesman said the lava stopped outside the eastern city as thousands of people fled Goma.
A volcanic river from the eruption of Nyiragongo erupted outside Goma, rescuing the city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the region’s military commander said on Sunday.
Prior to volcanic eruptions which sent thousands to flee the night, “the lava stopped near Buhene on the outskirts of Goma … the city did not survive,” said General Constant Ndima, adding that, according to temporary estimates, “five people were killed” in other accidents.
On Saturday, thousands fled at night and many families slept on the streets surrounded by their belongings under the sky at night turned red with fire and smoke.
Officials said the lava had reached Goma City Airport although residents were said to have stopped at the end of the site.
Goma appeared calm the next morning, but people said he was still cautious.
“There is a stench of sulfur. In the distance you can see huge flames coming out of the mountain, “Carine Mbala, a resident of the city, told AFP.
On Saturday, Communications Minister Patrick Muyaya said the government had set up a rescue plan and was “discussing what needs to be done now.”
By the beginning of the Sabbath, between 5,000 and 7,000 people had arrived in nearby Rwanda, according to a local media outlet.
The Rwanda Broadcast Agency sent photos of those arriving in Rubavu but said Sunday morning that the survivors had begun returning home.
“In the meantime, Congolese who have migrated to Rwanda due to the eruption of the Nyiragongo Mountains are returning home. It seems that the eruption has stopped,” he tweeted.
The first voyage from Goma came despite official confirmation that Mount Nyiragongo erupted at about 7:00 pm on Saturday.
Power had been cut off in the city’s mainstream as hundreds of citizens began fleeing their homes.
Some left the south end of the city for the Rwandan border, while others headed west toward Sake, near Congo’s Masisi border.
Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said he had “disrupted their stay in Europe to return home this Sunday to oversee the relief work”.
In a report on May 10, the Goma Vulcanology Observatory warned that earthquakes around the mountain had increased and should be carefully monitored.
The last time Nyiragongo erupted was on January 17, 2002, killing 250 people, evacuating another 120,000 people and covering almost all parts of eastern Goma by volcanic activity, including half of the airport’s high altitude.
During the blast, the victims were sick or elderly people who were left to be dropped off in the northern districts of the city and carried out other looting.