UPLOAD FOR AFRICA
Nearly two decades after the last volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country experienced another eruption at Mount Nyiragongo on Saturday night.
In 2002, a volcano erupted 10km from Goma, killed 250 people and left 120,000 homeless.
According to UNICEF, more than 150 children have been separated from their families and over 170 children are missing.
Government spokesman, Patrick Muyaya, in a statement said that at least 15 people died, including nine in a traffic accident as residents fled;four tried to escape Munzenze prison in Goma and two burned to death.
A total of 17 outlying villages were hit, Muyaya added.
The military governor of North Kivu province said “the city was spared” after a river of boiling lava came to a halt near Buhene on the outskirts of Goma, the main city in the eastern region that borders Rwanda.
More than 5,000 residents of the eastern city of Goma, home to nearly 2 million people fled to Rwanda with their belongings before the government announced the evacuation plan. Other residents fled to higher grounds to the west of the city.
According to the United Nation’s radio station Okapi, the volcano that erupted on Saturday had not been monitored for seven months, adding that funding from the World Bank had been stopped almost a year ago.
Nyiragongo volcano is considered one of the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes.