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Congo: Mount Nyiragongo Volcanic Eruption Leaves Thousands Homeless

Thousands flee as Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupts first time in decades

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Mount Nyiragongo has erupted for the first time in nearly two decades. The eruption turned the night sky a fiery red and sending lava onto a major highway. Panicked residents tried to flee Goma, as the lava slid down the hillside towards the eastern city of Goma.

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The Indian Army contingent as part of the United Nations Mission in Congo facilitated the smooth evacuation and protection of civilians and other UN personnel in volcano-affected Goma Town. The Indian soldiers are operating in the Congo under a 15-minute evacuation plan.

The smoking trail of lava halted a few hundred metres from the city’s edge, a source told Reuters news agency. It buried hundreds of houses and even large buildings.

15 deaths have been confirmed. Nine of the victims died in a traffic accident, Four others were killed as they tried to escape prison while two were burned to death. More than 170 children are feared to be missing and 150 others had been separated from their families, according to Unicef.

Mount Nyiragongo’s last eruption, in 2002. It had left hundreds dead and coated airport runways in lava. More than 120,000 people were left homeless in the aftermath.

Also Read: Caribbean’s St Vincent Volcano Erupts, Spews Ash & Smoke

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