Thousands of people have fled Goma once more after seismologists warned of another unexpected volcanic activity in the region.
According to a report by CNN, tens of thousands of people have been trying to escape Goma from Thursday as warnings came that Mt Nyiragongo magma could erupt yet again.
Previous eruption kills 31
Mt. Nyiragongo erupted last weekend, forcing tens of thousands to flee towards Rwanda and other areas east of the Goma region. At least 31 people have died, with more than 30,000 have fled their homes since the volcano erupted on May 23rd night.
Since then, the area had been experiencing a series of tremors and earthquakes, with some so strong they had been felt in the Rwandan city of Kigali, 65 miles from the volcano.
“The data on seismic activity shows the presence of magma under the urban area of Goma and beneath the Kivu lake,” General Constant Ndima, the military governor of North Kivu, told journalists on Thursday.
Erupt without warning
“Because of this data, we cannot exclude the possibility of another eruption on the earth or under the lake. This could come without any warning.”
Ndima asked residents to stay away from the lava, as they could die from asphyxiation or suffer severe burns from the molten rocks.
Science journalist and volcanologist Dr. Robin George Andrews said that the evacuation order was a precaution. He said the magma could cool down and not erupt, but the risk of eruption remained high.
That is why, thankfully, authorities have ordered the evacuation of part of the at-risk population in Goma. This magma may do nothing; it may cool down and not erupt. But the risks of an eruption are too high to do nothing, hence today's evacuation order. 23/x
— Dr Robin George Andrews 🌋 (@SquigglyVolcano) May 27, 2021
Dangerous Mt Nyiragongo
Mt Nyiragongo erupted last week after 19 years’ dormancy. It is one of the most active volcanos on the planet and one of the most dangerous.
In an article on National Geographic, Dr. Andrews said the volcano has one of the most fluid lava. The lava could move up to 60 km/h. This happens due to the geological complexities of the region around the mountain.
Thus, this perfect storm of circumstances is why authorities in the region are not taking any chances.
Nyiragongo is no joke. It’s arguably one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the entire continent, and a nightmare for those in the DRC and neighbouring Rwanda.
A brief thread… 1/x https://t.co/TZHGCncbOi
— Dr Robin George Andrews 🌋 (@SquigglyVolcano) May 22, 2021