A series of earthquakes on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda have stoked fears that the Nyiragongo volcano close to the area would erupt again three days after the first eruption. The volcano started to erupt on Saturday, spewing lava that headed towards the border with Rwanda, and stopped on Sunday morning, leaving dozens of people killed and thousands displaced. An earthquake on the border of Congo and Rwanda on Tuesday — measured 5.3 magnitudes by the Rwandan Seismic Monitor and the strongest of more than 100 tremors that have followed Saturday’s eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano — destroyed several buildings in the DRC’s eastern city of Goma.
A series of earthquakes hit western Rwanda’s Rubavu district that borders eastern DRC, following the Nyiragongo volcano’s eruption on Saturday, causing major cracks in residential and commercial houses, schools and several murram and tarmac roads, Gilbert Habyarimana, mayor of Rwanda’s Rubavu district, told Xinhua.
Yesterday the death toll linked to the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo volcano in the northeastern province of North Kivu of the DRC rose to 32 and is likely to further rise, the DRC authorities said.
Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the loss of life saddens the UN chief and that Guterres expressed his deepest sympathies to the government and people of the DRC.
On May 24, the DRC Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said 15 people were killed while fleeing the threats of lava. Rwanda’s Emergency Management Ministry said thousands of residents from the DRC seeking refuge in Rwanda were on their way back home.
On May 23, a lava flow reached the airport of DR Congo’s eastern city of Goma after the eruption of the nearby Mount Nyiragongo volcano. Authorities announced evacuation plans.
Around 3,000 people fled Goma for neighboring Rwanda as the city was illuminated with orange flames. Gilbert Habyarimana, mayor of Rwanda’s Rubavu district, which borders eastern DRC, called upon its residents to stay calm.
The lava flow stopped at around 4 am local time (0300 GMT) on the outskirts of Goma. Habyarimana said residents who fled to Rwanda started returning home while some were still in Rwanda.
While on May 22, the Nyiragongo volcano burst into activity at around 7 pm local time (1800 GMT).
(With ANI inputs)