Thousands Flee As Volcano Erupts in Congo, Indian Army Helps In Evacuation
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Thousands Flee As Volcano Erupts in Congo, Indian Army Helps In Evacuation

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Mount Nyaragongo, an active volcano, erupted around 6.30 pm on May 22

Thousands of Goma residents have fled the city on foot to reach the border with Rwanda as the city with a population of nearly 2 million was illuminated with orange flames

Kinshasa: After a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Central Africa, the lava flow reached the airport in the nearby Goma city on Sunday prompting authorities to launch evacuation plans. The evacuation plan for Goma has been activated, quoted government spokesman Patrick Muyaya as saying. “The government is discussing urgent measures to be taken now,” Muyaya tweeted.

Thousands of Goma residents have fled the city on foot to reach the border with Rwanda as the city with a population of nearly 2 million was illuminated with orange flames.

The Indian Army contingent as part of United Nations Mission in Congo facilitated the smooth evacuation and protection of civilians and other UN personnel in volcano affected Goma Town. Mount Nyaragongo, an active volcano, erupted around 6.30 pm May 22.

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi is returning from Europe to oversee the relief efforts and is closely monitoring the security and humanitarian situation in the country’s eastern North Kivu province, his office said.

North Kivu Governor, Lt. Gen. Ndima Kongba Constant, said in a televised address on Saturday that local civil defence forces started evacuating Goma residents following the eruption.

The Nyiragongo volcano, located not far from the DR Congo’s border with Rwanda, started to erupt on Saturday.

According to the Goma-based vulcanological monitoring office, the lava is heading towards the border with Rwanda.

The city of Goma is home to two active volcanoes, Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo.

The last time a major Nyiragongo eruption occurred was in 2002, when about 250 people were killed and 120,000 others left homeless. Saturday’s eruption of Nyiragongo is similar to that in 2002, said the authorities, adding that other districts of the city were not in danger as the lava was unlikely to reach those areas.

Earlier, General Constant Ndima, military governor of North Kivu province, of which Goma is capital, appealed for calm and urged people to follow the guidance of civil protection units.

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