DRC city partially evacuated over volcano eruption threat

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Authorities ordered a partial evacuation of Goma, a large city in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), on Thursday over concerns of another eruption of the nearby Mount Nyiragongo volcano.

Lieutenant General Kongba Constant, military governor of the North Kivu region, announced on the official TV broadcaster RTNC that 10 districts would be evacuated, reports dpa news agency.

Authorities would organise transport, he said, and residents should take along only the bare necessities.

Residents had fled their homes in panic, some even to neighbouring Rwanda, after the Nyiragongo volcano erupted on May 22.

At least 119 earthquakes were recorded in Goma on Monday.

Some of the lava had flowed toward Goma, but stopped 300 metres from the airport.

While 32 people have been confirmed dead, 40 others are still missing, according to UN figures, while some 20,000 have been left homeless.

Humanitarian relief efforts have been hampered by airport closures in Goma and the neighbouring city of Bukavu.

Three villages and a Goma suburb were destroyed by lava from the volcano in Virunga National Park, about 20 km north of the city, near the Rwanda border.

Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002, with lava destroying large parts of Goma at the time, leaving 250 people dead and displacing 120,000.

Goma is home to two active volcanoes — Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo.

–IANS

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