Thousand of residence flee Goma city in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after volcanic eruptions with lava from Mount Nyiragongo late Saturday.
Multi-Media reported that people had started filling the streets and carrying mattresses and other belongings as they headed out of the city.
Nyiragongo’s last eruption in 2002 killed 250 people and left 120,000 homeless. It is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and is considered among the most dangerous, Aljazeera reports.
The Rwanda Broadcast Agency tweeted photos of those arriving in the Rubavu district, adding they would be “accommodated in schools and places of worship that have been made ready”.
AMAKURU AGEZWEHO— Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) (@rbarwanda) May 23, 2021
IMpunzi z'abanyekongo zihunga iruka ry'Ikirunga cya Nyiragongo zimaze kwakirwa ku butaka bw'u Rwanda mu Karere ka Rubavu zirabarirwa hafi mu bihumbi 5.#NyiragongoErupts pic.twitter.com/r5ywLoH4qu
An Official Statement from the government says that the plans to evacuate people from the city have been activated.
“The evacuation plan for the city of Goma has been activated,” Communications Minister Patrick Muyaya tweeted late on Saturday. “The government is discussing the urgent measures to take at present.”
Meanwhile, the Congolese presidency said President Felix Tshisekedi will cut short a trip to Europe to return to Congo on Sunday.
The military governor of North Kivu province, of which Goma is the capital, confirmed the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano at around 7:00 pm (17:00 GMT).
General Constant Ndima urged residents of Goma, a city of two million people that sits on Mount Nyiragongo’s southern flank and the north shore of Lake Kivu, to remain calm.
Goma is home to a large contingent of peacekeepers and staff of MONUSCO, the UN mission in the country, as well as the base of many NGOs and international organizations.