DR Congo plans to evacuate city as volcano erupts

DR Congo plans to evacuate city as volcano erupts
Source: EPA
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: After a large volcano eruption, the government in the Democratic Republic of Congo has launched an evacuation plan for the eastern city of Goma.

Fountains of high lava burst from the Mount Nyiragongo into the night sky forming a thick orange cloud over Goma city, which has a population of two million.

Thousands of panic-stricken residents in the city were fleeing, many on foot.

The volcano, located 10km from Goma, last erupted in 2002 making 120,000 homeless and killing 250 people.

Hundreds of people were seen with mattresses and other belongings, fleeing towards the border with Rwanda to the east, even before the government’s announcement of eviction, which came several hours after the eruption started.

Authorities in Rwanda said about 3,000 people already had officially crossed from Goma. Other residents fled to higher grounds to the west of the city.

Resident Zacharie Paluku told the Associated Press (AP) news agency: “We’re already in a total psychosis. Everyone is afraid; people are running away. We really don’t know what to do.”

A new fracture opened up on the volcano, enabling lava to flow south towards Goma and reach the airport, on the eastern edge of the city.

One highway that connects Goma with the city of Beni had already been engulfed by the lava and Electricity was out across large areas.

Resident Carine Mbala told AFP news agency.”There is a smell of sulphur. In the distance you can see giant flames coming out of the mountain.”

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