Tremors shake Congo's Goma after volcanic eruption, scores missing

  • 5 months   ago
Tremors shake Congo's Goma after volcanic eruption, scores missing

REUTERS

Repeated tremors shook the Congolese city of Goma on Monday, unnerving families still reeling from a volcano eruption at the weekend that destroyed nearby villages, displaced thousands and killed at least 32 people.

Mount Nyiragongo, one of the world's most active and dangerous volcanoes, erupted on Saturday evening, sending a smouldering wall of lava half a mile wide downhill towards the city of 2 million people. 

The lava flow stopped a few hundred metres short of the city limits, but wrecked 17 villages on the way, cut the principal electricity supply and blocked a major road, disrupting aid deliveries.

The death toll rose to 32 on Monday, including seven killed by lava, three by smoke, two asphyxiated by volcanic gas and four who died while trying to escape Munzenze prison in Goma, said Joseph Makundi, the head of civil defence in North Kivu province.

A string of small earthquakes has since struck the city, the surrounding region in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and across the border into Rwanda.

 

One reached a 5.1 magnitude at 10:37 a.m. (0837 GMT) on Monday, according to the Rwanda Seismic Monitor, which is managed by the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

Shops briefly reopened in Goma on Monday but many closed again as the tremors grew more severe and residents worried that these could trigger another eruption.

Tremors struck every 30 minutes in the city from midday on Sunday. In Rwanda, a Reuters reporter saw several buildings damaged by the tremors.

Dario Tedesco, a volcanologist based in Goma, told Reuters the lava lake in the volcano has refilled, having emptied before the initial eruption on Saturday evening, although its significance was as yet unclear.

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