Evacuations in Goma for fear of new volcanic eruption, volcanologists head to Nyiragongo

In the eastern Congolese city of Goma, tens of thousands of people are fleeing for fear of a new volcanic eruption. The authorities have ordered the partial evacuation of the city because they are not certain that a second eruption of the Nyiragongo will not occur. Volcanologists have gone to the top of the volcano to estimate the risk of another explosion.

The military governor announced the area’s eviction on the night from Wednesday to Thursday. “At the moment, we cannot rule out an eruption on land or under the lake (Kivu), which could potentially occur quite quickly and without warning,” said General Constant Ndima.

“A team of volcanological experts has been on the summit since this morning,” the Congolese

government said. “They are going to collect data that will allow us to make the right decision”.

“Additional risks are related to the interaction between lava and water from the lake,” said military governor Constant Ndima in his order to evacuate the population. “There are different forms: interaction of magma with lake water, destabilization of the volume of dissolved gas under Lake Kivu, and release of potentially dangerous surface gases,” he said.

Saturday’s volcanic eruption killed at least 32 people. The lava flow engulfed 17 villages along the way but just missed Goma. According to the United Nations, about 1,000 homes have been destroyed, and 5,000 people have sought refuge.

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