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Nyiragongo: eruption imminent? 8 May 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Nyamuragira, Nyiragongo.
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Following recent reports of activity at Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo, scientists at the Goma Volcanological Observatory are warning that an eruption may be ‘imminent’ at both Nyiragongo and its neighbour Nyamuragira (alternative spelling Nyamulagira). A field trip to both volcanoes revealed tremors, emissions and ‘pools of lava’, and Dieudonne Wafula, head of the observatory, is quoted by the UN’s humanitarian news network IRIN as saying that ‘The volcanoes could erupt any time; it could be in two days, or a week or two but not later than two months from now’.

Wafula warned that the city of Goma could be threatened by any eruption, but said that lava levels at Nyiragongo were low, reducing the chance of severe damage to the city.

UPDATE: The BBC has picked up on the story, reporting that Mr Wafula thinks Nyamuragira is more likely to erupt than Nyiragongo, and suggesting that the residents of Goma are well used to their local volcanoes and have rather a blasé attitude towards their lava flows, fumes, ash emissions etc: ‘A resident of Goma told the BBC said people were talking about the volcanoes and that they had noticed a rise in temperature in recent days, but that otherwise the situation inside Goma was normal’.

(The Goma Volcanological Observatory does not have a website.)

News
DRC-RWANDA: Volcanic activity ‘threatens Goma’ – IRIN, 7 May 2009
DRC-RWANDA: Volcanic activity ‘threatens Goma’ – Reuters AlertNet, 7 May 2009
Scientist says volcanic eruption in Congo imminent – Associated Press, 7 May 2009
DR Congo volcano ‘may soon erupt’ – BBC News, 8 May 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nyiragongo – summary information for Nyiragongo (0203-03=)
Global Volcanism Program: Nyamuragira – summary information for Nyamuragira (0203-02=)

The Volcanism Blog