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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Blackett

The fury of Nyiragongo returns (May 2021)

Post date: 24 May 2021 [ongoing event]

Reports suggest most of those evacuated have now returned home but we await a full assessment of the damage. It seems 15 people have sadly died but most of these as a result of traffic-related events (according to VolcanoDiscovery). Imagery from The Guardian shows a lava flow from Nyiragongo seemingly engulfing a built-up area and @monusco is showing the cooling flow as viewed from helicopter:

Post date: 23 May 2021 [ongoing event]

On the afternoon and evening of 22 May 2021, the #volcano #Nyiragongo came to life for the first time in several years:

These lava flows are seemingly emanating from the volcano's southern flanks - those closest to #Goma - and have forced the evacuation of parts of the city. Unfortunately, Goma is a rather lawless place - officially in the failed state of DR Congo, it houses many refugees from Rwanda's genocide and the border with Rwanda is just a few km away. In 2002, large portions of Goma were engulfed with, and destroyed by, lava flows from Nyiragongo. To complete the potential for disaster in this region, most of the equipment used to monitor the volcano has been stolen over the years, so scientists remain unsure of the extent of the hazard currently posed.

The city of Goma with Nyrogongo in the background (Source: MONUSCO, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0).

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