Tens of thousands of people tried to escape the major city in the Democratic Republic of Congo after authorities issued an evacuation order warning that Mount Nyiragongo could erupt again. This volcano is said to be very powerful as more than 170 children are still feared missing and UNICEF officials said they were organising transit centres to help unaccompanied children in the wake of the disaster.
National Register of Council (NRC) Secretary-General Jan Egeland said in a statement, this calamity has shown a lethal combination of spiralling violence, record hunger levels and total neglect has ignited a mega-crisis that warrants a mega-response.
However, millions of families on the brink of the abyss seem to be forgotten by the outside world and are left shut off from any support lifeline. It is also noteworthy that a third of the country’s population i.e 27 million people, including more than 3 million children, do not have enough food to feed themselves.
Mount Nyiragongo is one of the world’s more active volcanoes but there were concerns that its activity had not been properly observed by the Goma Volcano Observatory since the World Bank cut its funding amid allegations of corruption. Since the beginning of May, the observatory warned that seismic activity had increased. The last volcano of this scale occurred in 2002 where more than 250 people died.
The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo let around 5,000 people flee away from the city of Goma and go to the nearby border into Rwanda. And another bunch of 25,000 people sought refuge to the northwest in Sake. As the fumes rose from blackish molten rock, it swallowed up houses, flowing towards Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu and leaving smouldering wreckage in its wake. Addressing this grave incident, the military governor of North Kivu province said, the city was spared by a matter of a few hundred metres after the lava halted near Buhene on the outskirts of Goma.
The destruction made through volcano eruption is massive, it has displaced hundreds of homes and burnt forest area. It also has damaged power and water supplies to the city. Though power had been partially restored, but water supplies are still not functional, making it difficult for people to survive.