Volcanic Eruption in Congo Displaces Four Hundred Thousand

A part of the displaced population that fled the city of Goma crossed into neighboring Rwanda.

This Friday, May 28, Joseph Makundi, coordinator of Civil Protection for North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, informed local media that 400,000 people had fled the Congolese city of Goma as a result of the eruption of Nyiragongo volcano.

The Congolese official added that a part of the displaced population of the city had crossed into the neighboring country, Rwanda. He also regretted the death of two persons during the evacuation.

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On Friday itself, the Office of the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo informed through its Twitter account that the Council of Ministers had declared as a ”humanitarian crisis” the ongoing situation generated by the volcanic eruption.

On Wednesday, Boris Cheshirkov, spokesperson of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), announced at a press conference in the Palace of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, that ”two villages in the far north of Goma region were totally destroyed and two others were almost completely covered by lava.”

”The highway leading to the north of North Kivu province was also damaged by lava, which may hinder the transport of food and other goods,” added Cheshirkov.

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At the same time, the UNHCR spokesperson highlighted that 280,000 people in the region have been displaced ”by conflict [armed] and general insecurity since January 2021.” These people depended on humanitarian aid which is now hampered due to the eruption, Cheshirkov alerted.

Mount Nyiragongo, an active volcano in the Virunga Mountains erupted last Saturday, May 22. According to the latest data provided by Congolese authorities, 32 people have lost their lives in the natural disaster, either immediately or due to related causes.



Featured image: According to UNHCR, 280,000 people displaced by armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been affected by the eruption of Nyiragongo volcano. Photo: Congo Rassure


Translation: Orinoco Tribune


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