Atlanta, United States (CNN) – The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Goma Volcano Observatory told CNN that the volcano of Mount Nyiragongo outside the city of Goma in eastern Congo began to erupt on Saturday.
The last major eruption of the volcano in 2002 killed 250 people in Goma. So far, there is no indication of the scale of this volcanic eruption and no one has yet been required to evacuate from nearby Goma. The government called for calm.
DRC government spokesman Patrick Moyaya told CNN that the volcano began to erupt late Saturday local time.
“The government is closely monitoring the situation in Goma, in particular the activity of Nirangungu volcano. The local authorities are currently assessing the situation with the volcanic observatory in Goma, and a detailed statement will follow. Residents are encouraged to remain calm,” Moya tweeted.
Dr Charles Balagisi, of the Goma Volcano Observatory, filmed a short video of the eruption, showing red lava in the dark night sky.
The spokesman for the Norwegian Refugee Council in West and Central Africa, Tom Bear Costa, is in Goma. He told CNN that the volcanic eruption began at around 1 pm on Saturday.
He added that all NGOs are on standby, noting that “at the present time the lava is not heading towards Goma, but it is very flowing lava and can reach a speed of 60 kilometers per hour. If you change direction, we will have to evacuate to Rwanda.”
And he considered that the situation is unpredictable at the moment, “but we are ready, we are receiving information from all the coordination mechanisms between NGOs and the United Nations.”