MOUNT NYIRAGONGO ERUPTS IN SPECTACULAR FASHION
(Posted 23rd May 2021)
Mount Nyiragongo, Eastern Congo’s if not East Africa’s most active volcano, erupted once again yesterday evening, driving thousands of people in panic from their homes, trying to flee to safer grounds.
The mountain, some 3.470 meters high, had in recent months seen increased activity and the lake of highly liquid lava inside the crater has been filling up fast to the point of the eruption yesterday.
While the city of Goma does not appear to be directly affected this time, unlike the last major eruption in 2002 when sections of the city were swept by lava including much of the runway of the local airport, have residents nevertheless started to leave the city, uncertain what the morning will bring.
The present lava flow appears to be directed into the Virunga National Park, one of the world’s greatest biodiversity locations and home to many of the endangered mountain gorillas which live in the tristate area of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.
The park has been frequently in the news over attacks by militias over past years and been subject to efforts by greedy politicians from Kinshasa to open the park to oil and mineral exploration and reduce it in size.
Mt. Nyiragongo itselt has become a tourism attraction and during quieter times could adventurers even camp at the rim of the crater, enjoying a spectacular sight second to none.
Goma is the centre for UN forces deployed in Eastern Congo, seat of the local government of the region and base for many NGO’s working in this part of Congo, all of which are presently on high alert and said to monitor the eruption closely. The city borders the Rwandan lakeside town of Gisenyi / Rubavu District.