Buildings damaged in Democratic Republic of Congo by aftershocks from Mount Nyiragongo volcano

  • The
    city of Goma in DR Congo was shaken by a flurry of shocks from the Mount
    Nyiragongo volcano, four days after its eruption.
  • The
    tremors, felt at regular intervals through the night, badly damaged several
    buildings and caused people to flee their homes.
  • Seismic
    monitoring agency RSM in neighbouring Rwanda said it had detected a
    5.1-magnitude quake, followed by a 4.1-magnitude tremor.

Goma
– The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma was shaken on Wednesday
by a flurry of shocks from the nearby Mount Nyiragongo volcano, four days after
its eruption, badly damaging several buildings, an AFP reporter said.

Residents
felt the tremors at regular intervals throughout the night, with two powerful
shocks from Africa’s most active volcano triggering widespread alarm and
causing terrified people to run out of their homes.

The
seismic monitoring agency RSM in neighbouring Rwanda, whose border runs close
to Goma, said it had detected a 5.1-magnitude quake at 05:46 (03:46 GMT),
followed by a 4.1-magnitude tremor at 06:12.

Thirty-two
people have died and at least five thousand are feared to be homeless after the
volcano erupted on Saturday, according to the United Nations.

Residents walk through the smoke from smouldering

Residents walk through the smoke from smouldering lava flowing from Mount Nyiragongo in Goma on 23 May 2021.

By
the time the eruption ended on Sunday, the volcano had shot out two rivers of
molten lava, one of which came to a halt on the edge of Goma after obliterating
villages in its wake.

The
lakeshore city of 1.5 million people lies around a dozen kilometres from the
volcano.

A
two-storey building on a road to the southwest of the city partially collapsed
overnight, but without apparently causing any casualties.

Two
other buildings were badly damaged, while another building in the city’s
Katindo district had completely collapsed.

Cracks opened up in ground

Property
damage was also reported in Gisenyi, a Rwandan town on the other side of the
border, according to social media.

On
Tuesday, at least four buildings partially collapsed in Goma, including a
three-storey structure in which eight people were seriously injured, emergency
workers said.

Long
cracks, several dozen centimetres wide in places, have also opened up in the
ground since the eruption – some of them spewing out water, possibly from
nearby Lake Kivu.

Fearful
of their homes collapsing, many people slept outside on mattresses and under
mosquito nets.

Local
volcanologists have recorded hundreds of shocks since Nyiragongo roared back
into life, but say there is hope that the much-feared volcano will calm down.

A
so-called strato-volcano nearly 3 500 metres high, Nyiragongo straddles the
East African Rift tectonic divide.

Its
last major eruption, in 2002, claimed around 100 lives.

The
UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday that at least 150 children had
become separated from their parents after the eruption, and that another 170
were missing.


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