The Nyiragongo eruption killed at least 15 people, sending 30,000 people to flee Goma and destroying more than 500 homes.
Floods have erupted in dark villages in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with little warning, leaving at least 15 people dead in riots and destroying more than 500 homes, officials and survivors said on Sunday.
The program of the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo Saturday night sent about 5,000 people fleeing the city of Goma across the border near Rwanda, while another 25,000 fled to northwest Sake, the UN children’s agency said on Sunday.
More than 170 children are still missing on Sunday and UNICEF officials say they are setting up a travel agency to help children who have not been transported.
Goma eventually survived a major catastrophe that erupted during the last volcanic eruption in 2002. Hundreds died at that time and more than 100,000 people were displaced. But in remote villages near the blast, Sunday was marked by sadness and uncertainty.
Beatrice Katungu, 47, said their husbands and eight of her 10 children were missing.
“I do not know what happened and if it was set on fire because the blast occurred in the evening,” Katungu told Al Jazeera.
“Some people returned to their home Sunday morning but unfortunately, my family did not return.”
The air was still thick with smoke from most of the burning houses.
Florence Rudasigara, who was also injured in the blast, told Al Jazeera that no government officials had come to her aid.
“I am a widow. I do not know where to go. The government will help us. We have never seen any rulers come to sympathize with us. We have been abandoned, ”said Rudasigara. “We will starve to death. ”
Elsewhere, officials say at least five people have died in a car accident while trying to evacuate Goma, but the amount of losses has not yet been determined in some of the worst-affected areas.
Citizens say there is no warning before it gets too dark before they start a fire, causing people to flee for their lives on both sides. A woman began working and giving birth while fleeing the blast to Rwanda, a local journalist said.
Smoke rose as a result of piles of volcanic eruptions in the Buhene area near the city on Sunday.
“We have seen the loss of almost the entire region,” Innocent Bahala Shamavu told The Associated Press.
“All the houses in Buhene district were burnt down and that is why we are appealing to all district officials and government officials as well as all stakeholders, all religious people around the world, to help these people.”
The Witnesses said that a hailstorm had filled one road between Goma and Beni. However, the airport did not appear to have been rescued in the same way as in 2002 when lava crossed the roads.
Goma is home to a number of international aid agencies, as well as a UN peacekeeping force.
Additional reports of Esdras Tsongo in Goma.