Goma safe after volcanic eruption

“There was no loss of life and no immediate threat to Goma because Nyamulagira lies 32 kilometres to the north and has Mount Nyirangongo acting as a barrier against lava reaching the city,” Kasereka, who is director of the Goma Volcano Observatory, said.

He said there had not been any population displacements. Mount Nyamulagira erupted on Monday and lava has been flowing away from the direction of Goma, which was partially submerged when Mount Nyirangongo erupted in 2002. Mount Nyamulagira is close to the scene of fighting in the town of Sake last week between the army and dissident army troops under the command of General Laurent Nkunda.

Despite the lack of immediate danger to Goma, the head of the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Goma said if there were bigger eruptions, the situation could be very different.

“If that were so, lava would be able to reach the Goma and Sake road and make it difficult for humanitarian agencies to gain access to the area that was the scene of fighting between the army and Nkunda’s dissidents,” Patrick Lavand’Homme, head of OCHA in Goma, said. ‘ IRIN.

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