Congo's Mount Nyiragongo Volcano Erupts

Published May 24th, 2021 - 04:18 GMT

A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo.

Thousands fled during the night and many families slept on pavements surrounded by their belongings under a night sky turned red by fire and fumes. Ndima said around 7,000 people fled to neighouring Rwanda, but begun to return.

And around a dozen earth tremors were felt in the early hours. People are still scared. They are wondering whether the volcano has stopped, or whether it will continue, whether the lava will reappear. There is a smell of sulfur. 

During that eruption, the victims were mostly sick or elderly abandoned to their fate in the northern districts of the city.

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A lost child sits on a curb as Congolese people flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park

A lost child sits on a curb as Congolese people flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park -- where the volcano is located -- telling his staff: "the situation is deteriorating". Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP

Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park

Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park -- where the volcano is located -- telling his staff: "the situation is deteriorating". Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP

Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park

Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park -- where the volcano is located -- telling his staff: "the situation is deteriorating". Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP

This general view taken on May 22, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo shows flame spewing from the Nyiragongo volcano. The famous Nyiragongo volcano, near the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), suddenly became active on Saturday evening, an AFP correspondent noted. Strong emanations of glowing light coming out of the crater were visible from Goma, while a smell of sulfur was perceptible in the city

This general view taken on May 22, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo shows flame spewing from the Nyiragongo volcano. The famous Nyiragongo volcano, near the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), suddenly became active on Saturday evening, an AFP correspondent noted. Strong emanations of glowing light coming out of the crater were visible from Goma, while a smell of sulfur was perceptible in the city, located on the southern flank of the volcano, on the shores of Lake Kivu, he noted. Moses Sawasawa / AFP

Smoldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 23, 2021 following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. Thousands have fled a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo with lava from Mount Nyiragongo reaching Goma city early Sunday. Even before the official announcement, people had started filling the streets and carrying what they could as they headed out of the city, where the last major eruption killed 100 people

Smoldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 23, 2021 following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. Thousands have fled a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo with lava from Mount Nyiragongo reaching Goma city early Sunday. Even before the official announcement, people had started filling the streets and carrying what they could as they headed out of the city, where the last major eruption killed 100 people. Moses Sawasawa / AFP

Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo

Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses, heading towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu. Guerchom Ndebo / AFP

Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses

Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses, heading towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu. Guerchom Ndebo / AFP

This general view shows a structure still standing, surrounded by the lava who flew during yesterday's eruption on May 23, 2021. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses, heading towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu

This general view shows a structure still standing, surrounded by the lava who flew during yesterday's eruption on May 23, 2021. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses, heading towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu. Moses Sawasawa / AFP

A lost child sits on a curb as Congolese people flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park
Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park
Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park
This general view taken on May 22, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo shows flame spewing from the Nyiragongo volcano. The famous Nyiragongo volcano, near the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), suddenly became active on Saturday evening, an AFP correspondent noted. Strong emanations of glowing light coming out of the crater were visible from Goma, while a smell of sulfur was perceptible in the city
Smoldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 23, 2021 following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. Thousands have fled a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo with lava from Mount Nyiragongo reaching Goma city early Sunday. Even before the official announcement, people had started filling the streets and carrying what they could as they headed out of the city, where the last major eruption killed 100 people
Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo
Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses
This general view shows a structure still standing, surrounded by the lava who flew during yesterday's eruption on May 23, 2021. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses, heading towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu
A lost child sits on a curb as Congolese people flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park
A lost child sits on a curb as Congolese people flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park -- where the volcano is located -- telling his staff: "the situation is deteriorating". Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP
Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park
Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park -- where the volcano is located -- telling his staff: "the situation is deteriorating". Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP
Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park
Congolese people carry their belongings as they flee from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted, at the border point known as "Petite Barriere" in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on May 23, 2021. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered the evacuation of the eastern city of Goma after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo overlooking the border city. The lava reached the city's airport early Sunday, with an official from Virunga National Park -- where the volcano is located -- telling his staff: "the situation is deteriorating". Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP
This general view taken on May 22, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo shows flame spewing from the Nyiragongo volcano. The famous Nyiragongo volcano, near the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), suddenly became active on Saturday evening, an AFP correspondent noted. Strong emanations of glowing light coming out of the crater were visible from Goma, while a smell of sulfur was perceptible in the city
This general view taken on May 22, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo shows flame spewing from the Nyiragongo volcano. The famous Nyiragongo volcano, near the city of Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), suddenly became active on Saturday evening, an AFP correspondent noted. Strong emanations of glowing light coming out of the crater were visible from Goma, while a smell of sulfur was perceptible in the city, located on the southern flank of the volcano, on the shores of Lake Kivu, he noted. Moses Sawasawa / AFP
Smoldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 23, 2021 following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. Thousands have fled a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo with lava from Mount Nyiragongo reaching Goma city early Sunday. Even before the official announcement, people had started filling the streets and carrying what they could as they headed out of the city, where the last major eruption killed 100 people
Smoldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 23, 2021 following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. Thousands have fled a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo with lava from Mount Nyiragongo reaching Goma city early Sunday. Even before the official announcement, people had started filling the streets and carrying what they could as they headed out of the city, where the last major eruption killed 100 people. Moses Sawasawa / AFP
Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo
Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses, heading towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu. Guerchom Ndebo / AFP
Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses
Men cross the front of the still smoking lava rocks from an eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on May 23, 2021 in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses, heading towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu. Guerchom Ndebo / AFP
This general view shows a structure still standing, surrounded by the lava who flew during yesterday's eruption on May 23, 2021. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses, heading towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu
This general view shows a structure still standing, surrounded by the lava who flew during yesterday's eruption on May 23, 2021. A river of boiling lava came to a halt on the outskirts of Goma Sunday, sparing the city in eastern DR Congo from disaster after the nighttime eruption of Mount Nyiragongo sent thousands of terrified residents fleeing in panic. Fire and strong fumes emanated from the blackish molten rock as it swallowed up houses, heading towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu. Moses Sawasawa / AFP

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