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Nabro eruption: Eritrean opposition appeals for international assistance 23 June 2011

Posted by admin in Africa, Eritrea, eruptions, Nabro.

Following the Eritrean Government’s statement that seven people were killed in the eruption of Nabro volcano in the south of the country (after initial official claims that there were no fatalities), groups opposed to the current regime in Eritrea have been calling for international assistance for those affected by the eruption. The Sudan Tribune reports today that the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO), an exiled opposition movement based in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, has accused the Eritrean Government of concealing the scale of the disaster, failing to give the affected population warning and assistance, and preventing international aid from entering the country. According to an RSADO spokesman quoted in the report, the Eritrean Government had ‘knowledge in advance’ that the eruption would occur ‘and evacuated hundreds of its soldiers from the area one day ahead of the eruption however [they did not give] advanced notice to the inhabitants nor did [the government] evacuate them to safety’.

The report notes that ‘Independent news about the eruption is hard to come by as Eritrea does not allow independent local journalists or foreign correspondents into the the Red Sea nation’ and that ‘The UN or other NGOs are reportedly not allowed to leave the capital, for independent assessments of the situation of the people’ in Eritrea.

The overall humanitarian situation in the region of Eritrea around Nabro remains unknown, but there are reports of the local population on the Ethiopian side of the border being severely affected by the eruption.

Eritrea volcano ash hits Ethiopia villagers – BBC News, 20 June 2011
Eritrean opposition asks for international support as volcano kills sevenSudan Tribune, 23 June 2011

Global Volcanism Program: Nabro – summary information for Nabro (0201-101)

The Volcanism Blog


1. helena - 23 June 2011

I hope this is not true, people lived in the actual crater, if they were not evacuated and did not realize the earthquakes were a danger sign and got the hell out. If there was even time for that. This article has made me cry.

2. Martin Rey - 23 June 2011

The caldera is on the frontier with ethiopia..
The lava flow to ethiopía..
East winds most of the time:
Ash, SO2 and other products go for ethiopía..

And no news from there..

“the Eritrean Government had ‘knowledge in advance’ that the eruption would occur ‘and evacuated hundreds of its soldiers from the area one day ahead of the eruption ”

They ALL don’t know wich volcano erupts.. until 2-3 days AFTER..


3. admin - 23 June 2011

There’s certainly some political point-scoring going on here. Earthquake Report has a pointed comment on the claims of this Eritrean opposition group:

‘Besides the Eritrean government who at least published a number of press releases, we could not trace 1 single report from the Ethiopian government which describes the health of their own people. Most of the toxic gases and the ash have been blowing for 97% into Ethiopia.’


4. Philip - 25 June 2011

Yes, to be sure, there’s definitely some politically opportunistic jabs being dealt here (I’m Eritrean, and let me tell you, this hardly scratches the surface).

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