People walk near destroyed homes by lava deposited during the Mount Nyiragongo volcanic eruption near Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Picture: Djaffar Al Katanty/Reuters
People walk near destroyed homes by lava deposited during the Mount Nyiragongo volcanic eruption near Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Picture: Djaffar Al Katanty/Reuters

Fears of second deadly volcano eruption following earthquakes at Congo border

By Reuters Time of article published May 25, 2021

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GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 25 (Reuters) - An

earthquake measuring 5.3 magnitude rocked the borderlands

between Rwanda and Congo on Tuesday morning, the Rwandan Seismic

Monitor said, raising worries about a fresh eruption following

one on Saturday that killed at least 32 people.

On Saturday Democratic Republic of Congo's Mount Nyiragongo, one of the world's most active and dangerous volcanoes, erupted sending a river of lava downhill towards Goma, a city of some two million people.

The area has experienced repeated tremors since then, and the lava lake in the volcano's crater appears to have refilled, raising fears of new fissures or another eruption, the United Nations Refugee agency said.

The earthquake appeared to have collapsed several buildings in Goma, a Reuters reporter said, although it was not yet clear if there were any casualties as police had sealed off the area.

The quake struck at 11:03 a.m. (09:03 GMT), originating in Rugerero sector in western Rwanda, according to the Rwanda Seismic Monitor, which is managed by the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

Multiple cracks in the earth have emerged in Goma in the last day, a Reuters reporter said, although businesses have re-opened across the city and life appeared to be returning to normal for those who didn't lose their homes.

About 1 000 houses were destroyed and more than 5 000 people displaced by the eruption, the United Nations has said.

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 to one of the most food insecure places in Africa.

The government said a 1.7 kilometre (1.1 miles) stretch of road connecting Goma to the north of the province was covered with lava, blocking the movement of people and goods.

More than half a million people have lost access to safe water, as lava destroyed one of the most important water supply sources, the International Federation of the Red Cross said in a statement.

"Although the flow of lava has stopped, authorities have warned that the danger is not yet over and that seismic activity in the area could cause further lava flows. Infrastructure damage is not ruled out," the IFRC said.

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