Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has erupted for the first time in nearly two decades, sending volcanic eruptions east of Goma and forcing thousands of people to flee.
As the red light of Mount Nyiragongo shakes the night sky above the coastal city of about two million people, Goma residents carrying mattresses and other items fled the suburbs on Saturday – many heading for Rwanda.
The last Nyiragongo eruption in 2002 killed 250 people and left 120,000 homeless in the DRC. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is known to be extremely active.
A series of volcanic eruptions appear to have stopped hundreds of meters from the city limits, a source told Reuters news agency on Sunday.
Rwanda’s emergency ministry says 3,500 Congolese have crossed the border. Rwandan government journalists will say they will sleep in schools and places of worship.
The latest volcanic eruptions have raised concerns that volcanic eruptions over the past five years have rocked the Nyiragongo windshield, which in 1977 and 2002 erupted.
OVG volcanologists, who oversee Nyiragongo, have been struggling to make regular checks since the World Bank cut money off counterfeit items.