Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Death Toll Climbs As More Than 500 Homes Destroyed After Eruption Of Mt Nyiragongo

Death toll expected to rise considerably, more than 500 homes destroyed after eruption at Mount Nyiragongo, DR Congo

More scary details are coming to light two days after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday, May 22, 2021. 

  • While the main lava flow appears to have stopped in the district of Buhene, it affected 17 villages, destroyed more than 500 homes, left 15 confirmed fatalities and many missing. 
  • The flow was about 9 m (30 feet) high in some places and about 800 m (2 600 feet) wide.
  • Authorities warn that the danger is not over as seismic activity in the area continues, rising the probability of new lava flows.

According to figures released on May 23, at least 15 people have been killed, including 9 in traffic accidents as panicked residents tried to evacuate the city of Goma and its suburbs. The total population in this area exceeds 2 million as more than 1.5 million people moved near the volcano over the past 20 years.

On May 24, 7 more people died from inhaling toxic gas while walking across a wide expanse of the cooling lava, bringing the number of casualties to 22. 

The number of casualties rose to 32 on May 25.

Other casualties were four people who tried to escape Munzenze prison and two who were burned to death, government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said in a statement.

Unfortunately, the death toll is expected to rise considerably as many people are still missing, including 170 children. 150 people have reportedly lost contact with their families, according to UNICEF.

At this time, the main lava flow has stopped in the district of Buhene, a few hundred meters away from the city limit, where more than 500 homes and large buildings were buried. 

In total, lava flows affected 17 villages, three health centers, and a primary school, a government spokesperson said. In addition, a water pipeline and Goma's main electricity supply line were destroyed.

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