On Saturday, the volcano Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo suddenly erupted, forcing thousands to flee to neighboring Rwanda to seek refuge. Yes on Sunday, reports he said that the speed of the lava of Nyiragongo had slowed down and that the nearby city of Goma, home to more than a million people, had been saved.
The eruption – which was caused when fractures opened up on the side of the volcano and carried lava flowing in several directions –it took residents, experts and officials by surprise. According to Reuters, was partly due to problems at the Goma Volcano Observatory, the scientific entity that monitors Nyiragongo, a volcano near the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Rwanda. Volcanologists have struggled to make basic checks on the volcanoyear since the World Bank cut its funding in light of allegations of embezzlement.
Observatory officials had not conducted complete seismic checks on the volcano since October last year because they did not have an internet connection. They were able to re-establish their internet in April when they received funding from an American partner. Officials have said that since then, talthough much time had been lost.
“As soon as the internet was restored, we started recording warning signs, but since we don’t have previous data, we thought it was the beginning of volcanic activity,” said Celestin Kasereka Mahinda, scientific director of the observatory. “Hence this surprise.”
Although it was a surprise to observatory officials, volcano observers and experts had been sounding the alarm in recent months on a possible eruption of Nyiragongo based on increased volcanic activity and other indicators.
Nyiragongo is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in the world and he erupted seven times in the last hundred years. Expert volcano Robin George Andrews noted that one of the reasons why Nyiragongo is dangerous is that its lava is very fluid and fast, so fast that it can accelerate cars. Volcanoes in this region have also “burned” a lot of carbon dioxide, he said, which plunges into slope and kills anyone swallowed by it.
The news of the eruption of the volcano triggered panic in the surrounding area, which is still haunted by the 2002 volcanic eruption that killed 250 people and left 120,000 homeless. Although the country’s government has said an evacuation plan has been activated, the official announcement came hours after the skies lit a red fire on Saturday, the Associated Press said, after many had already took on them to flee.
An army spokesman he told Reuters Sunday what 13 people he had been killed while fleeing the disaster. Of those who died, nine avia bEen was involved in a car accident and four had tried to escape from a prison in Goma.
However, it is predicted that the number of deaths will increase considerably based on the first reports of eyewitnesses.
The Nyiragongo lava has destroyed hundreds of homes in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. CNN said that five schools had been decimated, meanwhile Reuters said which lava cooled in some arAnd it had turned into rubble. In some sites, it it was three stories high, consuming large buildings and sending smoke into the sky.
On Sunday, the crowd was uprush to return to their homes to assess what, if any, damage Nyiragongo had caused. After that, the months long will begin the restoration effort.