On 22nd May 2021, Mountain Nyiragongo an active strato volcano erupts near Goma city.  The 2021 eruption of Mountain Nyiragongo of Democratic republic of Congo adds up to 34 eruptions recorded by this volcano.

The eruption of the Mountain  was reported to have started around 7:00 pm (CAT), this caused the death of about 32 people and over 8000 people evacuated into Rwanda and 1000 homes were destroyed.

The lava from the eruption was estimated to have moved 1 kilometer per hour, this speed enabled the evacuation of the people that were living around Mountain Nyiragongo.

Mountain Nyirangongo is located in central Africa in the Virunga ranges in Virunga national park. This active volcano is located 12 kilometers north of Goma town, west of Rwanda.  It elevates to the height of 3470 meters with a lave Crater Lake that is 2 kilometers.

The eruption of this mountain was nearly predicated by the on ground scientists. In September 2020, the director of Goma Volcano observatory; Katcho Karume.  Gave a report that showed a risk for the eruption of the mountain due to the increasing filling of the lave Lake.

Volcanic history

Mountain Nyiragongo has been erupting since the year of 1882. The most significant and deadly eruption was in the year of 1977. On 10th January 1977, Mountain Nyiragongo crater erupted, with lava flowing 60 kilometers per hour. This was the fastest Lava movement ever recorded killing over 600 people within the shortest time of 30 minutes.

The deadly eruption of this year, made a world record due to the unique effects it had caused leading to the designation of Mountain Nyiragongo as a decade volcano in the year 1991.

The 2002 eruption was another blow to the surroundings of the Mountain, as Nyiragongo erupted again starting 17 January 2002. This eruption was predicated by scientist,  this led to the passing on of warning to the residents near the mountain. Over 400, 000 people evacuated the area to the neighboring areas of Gisenyi in Rwanda.

The 2002 eruption of Mountain Nyiragongo left over 120,000 people homeless, and the death of about 245 people. It was reported that these people died out of building collapsing and asphyxiation from carbon dioxide. This eruption birthed other eruption episodes after 6 months and severe earth quakes that shook the towns of Goma and Gisenyi for some time.

The recent eruption of Mountain Nyiragongo took place early in 2021 in May 22. The eruption was not fore warned by the authorities concerned, though lesser damage was caused compared to the previous eruptions of the Mountain.

After the recent mountain eruption of Nyiragongo, disaster befell D.R.C again as on 25th may 2021, as sticking 5.3 magnitude earth quake befell the city of Goma. This led to the order of over 10,000 people to evacuate the city of Goma and the surrounding districts.

The damages and causalities caused by the 2021 eruption of Mountain Nyiragongo.

Patrick Muyaya, the government spokesman of D.R.C communicated on 23 may after the eruption that about 15 people died, where two burned to death from the lava heat, nine died from an accident as they tried to flee from the eruption, 4 prisoners died as they tried to escape from the Muzenze prison in Goma.

A report from UNICEF came up as 170 children were recorded missing, 150 children separated from their families and other 5 victims that were lost to asphyxiated.

The Norwegian refugee camp reported the destruction of over 600 homes and 15 local schools and 17 villages around the areas.

Hiking experience of Mountain Nyiragongo

Mountain Nyiragongo has been a great touristic attraction despite the current eruption that has caused feared to visit this mountain.  The starting point to the hike to Mountain Nyiragongo is kibati ranger station. That is located 45 minutes away from Mikeno lodge and Bukima tented camp, this station is a 30 minutes’ drive from Goma city.

The hike to the top of the mountain commences at exactly 10:00 am, with arrival at the starting point at exactly not beyond 9:15am. The hike to the summit of the Mountain is a rewarding expedition with the view the Virunga ranges, mountain summit and the lava lake.

The descending of Mountain volcano commences the day after the ascending the Mountain top. This starts from 6:30 am to avail more time to reach the starting point early enough at least by 11:00 am.

Hikers to the mountain summit of Mountain Nyiragongo are advised to carry and wear appreciate hiking and mountain gear to cope up with the very cool temperatures of the mountain summit.

With the visit to Virunga national park and explore of the different attractions and activities located in the park.  A hike of Mountain Nyiragongo enhances the whole Congo adventure experience.

With the current eruption of Mountain Nyiragongo, the re-hike and visit of the Mountain is still uncertain. This is until a clear communication has been made about the re visit of the Mountain is made possible.

Author: Love Uganda Safaris
Web Architect at Love Uganda Safaris

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