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DRC’s Nyiragongo volcano eruption forces thousands to evacuate Goma – Axios

Mount Nyiragongo in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo erupted on Saturday, forcing thousands of people to evacuate the nearby city of Goma, per Reuters.

The state of play: Witnesses told AP that lava had “engulfed” a highway connecting Goma with the city of Beni and Reuters reports that lava has reached an area near Goma’s airport, on the outskirts of the city, which has a population of about 2 million.

Goma residents leave the city following the volcanic activity on May 22. Photo: Guerchom Ndebo/AFP via Getty Images
  • But the United Nations peacekeeping mission MONUSCO, which tweeted images from a reconnaissance flight over Goma, said late Saturday: “The lava does not appear to be heading towards the city … We remain on alert.”
  • DRC government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya tweeted Saturday night, “The evacuation plan for the city of Goma has been activated. The government is discussing urgent measures to take now.”

Context: Lava from the volcano’s last major eruption in 2002 flowed into the city, killing 250 and leaving tens of thousands more homeless, according to CNN.