Photos: Congo's Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupts forcing thousands to evacuate

  • Thousands fled a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the flaming lava from Mount Nyiragongo appeared to have come to a halt on the outskirts of Goma city by early May 23. The evacuations came during the night of May 22 and many families slept on pavements surrounded by their belongings under a night sky turned red by fire and fumes. By early May 23, between 5,000 and 7,000 people had arrived in neighbouring Rwanda. The last time Nyiragongo erupted was January 17, 2002, killing more than a hundred people and covering almost all of the eastern part of Goma with lava, including half of the airport's landing strip.
Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST 9 Photos
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Lava from the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo is seen in Buhene, on the outskirts of Goma, Congo on May 23. Congo's Mount Nyiragongo erupted for the first time in nearly two decades on May 22, turning the night sky a fiery red and sending lava onto a major highway.(Justin Kabumba / AP)

Lava from the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo is seen in Buhene, on the outskirts of Goma, Congo on May 23. Congo's Mount Nyiragongo erupted for the first time in nearly two decades on May 22, turning the night sky a fiery red and sending lava onto a major highway.(Justin Kabumba / AP)

Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST
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Molten lava from the volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo flows between buildings in Goma,on May 22. The molten rock, which the eruption had sent close to Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu, still appeared unstable but had come to a standstill in the suburbs of the eastern city, AFP reported.(Enoch David via REUTERS )

Molten lava from the volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo flows between buildings in Goma,on May 22. The molten rock, which the eruption had sent close to Goma airport on the shores of Lake Kivu, still appeared unstable but had come to a standstill in the suburbs of the eastern city, AFP reported.(Enoch David via REUTERS )

Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST
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A person attempts to douse the fire on a building after the volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in Goma on May 22. Around a dozen earth tremors were also felt in the early hours of the day, AFP reported.(Enoch David via REUTERS)

A person attempts to douse the fire on a building after the volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in Goma on May 22. Around a dozen earth tremors were also felt in the early hours of the day, AFP reported.(Enoch David via REUTERS)

Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST
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A person carries a suitcase on their head as residents flee from Goma, following the Nyiragongo volcano eruption, at Petite Barriere border point in Gisenyi, Rwanda on May 23. Thousands had fled during the night and many families slept on pavements surrounded by their belongings under a night sky turned red by fire and fumes.(Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP)

A person carries a suitcase on their head as residents flee from Goma, following the Nyiragongo volcano eruption, at Petite Barriere border point in Gisenyi, Rwanda on May 23. Thousands had fled during the night and many families slept on pavements surrounded by their belongings under a night sky turned red by fire and fumes.(Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP)

Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST
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A person seen in front of flowing lava from the Mount Nyiragongo eruption in Buhene on the outskirts of Goma on May 23. "There is a smell of sulphur. In the distance you can see giant flames coming out of the mountain," one resident, Carine Mbala, told AFP.(AP / PTI)

A person seen in front of flowing lava from the Mount Nyiragongo eruption in Buhene on the outskirts of Goma on May 23. "There is a smell of sulphur. In the distance you can see giant flames coming out of the mountain," one resident, Carine Mbala, told AFP.(AP / PTI)

Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST
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Location boards seen from the border in Gisenyi, Rwanda after the eruption of Nyiragongo volcano in Congo on May 23. According to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national broadcaster, by early May 23, between 5,000 and 7,000 people had arrived in neighbouring Rwanda, AFP reported.(Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP)

Location boards seen from the border in Gisenyi, Rwanda after the eruption of Nyiragongo volcano in Congo on May 23. According to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national broadcaster, by early May 23, between 5,000 and 7,000 people had arrived in neighbouring Rwanda, AFP reported.(Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP)

Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST
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Residents inspecting an area near homes destroyed by the smouldering lava deposited by the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo volcano near Goma on May 23.(Djaffar Al Katanty / REUTERS)

Residents inspecting an area near homes destroyed by the smouldering lava deposited by the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo volcano near Goma on May 23.(Djaffar Al Katanty / REUTERS)

Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST
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Smoldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo on May 23. Resident Richard Bahati told AFP that he was incredibly worried about the eruption: "I lived through this volcano problem in 2002. The volcano had devastated all our homes and all our possessions. That's why I'm scared again this time."(Moses Sawasawa / AFP)

Smoldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo on May 23. Resident Richard Bahati told AFP that he was incredibly worried about the eruption: "I lived through this volcano problem in 2002. The volcano had devastated all our homes and all our possessions. That's why I'm scared again this time."(Moses Sawasawa / AFP)

Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST
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Smoke billows from the Nyiragongo volcanic eruption as seen from the Tchegera Island on Lake Kivu near Goma on May 22. The last time Nyiragongo erupted was January 17, 2002, killing more than a hundred people and covering almost all of the eastern part of Goma with lava, including half of the airport's landing strip.(Alex Miles / AFP)

Smoke billows from the Nyiragongo volcanic eruption as seen from the Tchegera Island on Lake Kivu near Goma on May 22. The last time Nyiragongo erupted was January 17, 2002, killing more than a hundred people and covering almost all of the eastern part of Goma with lava, including half of the airport's landing strip.(Alex Miles / AFP)

Published on May 23, 2021 04:43 PM IST
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