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DR Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo erupts, sparking mass evacuation

Thousands of people have fled their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo after Mount Nyiragongo erupted, threatening their home city of Goma.

Thousands of people have fled their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo after Mount Nyiragongo erupted, threatening their home city of Goma.

Lava from the volcano lit up clouds over the eastern city, which has a population of two million.

A general view of erupting Mount Nyiragongo over Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on 22 May 2021

People tried to douse the flames as the lava flowed, engulfing parts of the city and roads.

Lava could be seen between buildings in the city.

City residents fled with mattresses and other belongings.

A Congolese woman, carrying possessions on her head, flees from Mount Nyiragongo volcano as it erupts over Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on 22 May 2021
A Congolese woman, carrying possessions on her head, flees from Mount Nyiragongo volcano as it erupts over Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on 22 May 2021

After reaching some of the city’s suburbs and the airport to the east, the flow of lava is now said to have stopped.

Smouldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on 23 May 2021 following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo
Smouldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on 23 May 2021 following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo

Thousands of Congolese, including children, women and old people, have sought refuge in neighbouring Rwanda as the volcano erupted.

Here they sleep with their belongings on a street in the town of Gisenyi on the border with DR Congo.

Congolese fleeing from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), sleep with their belongings on a street after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted near the border in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on 23 May 2021
Congolese fleeing from Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), sleep with their belongings on a street after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted near the border in Gisenyi, Rwanda, on 23 May 2021

Mount Nyiragongo is one of the world’s more active volcanoes – seen here from Tchegera Island on Lake Kivu outside Goma.

This general view taken on 22 May 2021 from Tchegera Island outside Goma on the lake Kivu in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo shows flame spewing from the Nyiragongo volcano.
This general view taken on 22 May 2021 from Tchegera Island outside Goma on the lake Kivu in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo shows flame spewing from the Nyiragongo volcano.

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