Volcano erupts in Democratic Republic of Congo

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Democratic Republic of Congo's Mount Nyamuragira, the most active volcano in Africa, erupted in the morning hours of Saturday, spilling lava out over its southern flank.

The explosion occurred at about 03.45 local time, according to rangers from the Virunga National Park, where the volcano is situated.

The warden for the southern sector of Virunga National Park, Innocent Mburanumwe, was a witness to the event. "I first thought [it] was the sound of war. I thought there was fighting again near our park station. Then I saw the mountain was on fire with sparks flying. We could see that we were not in immediate danger here at Rumangabo, but there are many people who live to the south of the volcano, where the lava is heading as I speak," he said, as quoted by CNN.

Mount Nyamuragira is located around 25 kilometres from Goma, a city with 600,000 residents. According to a posting on Mburanumwe's blog, however, it is unlikely that the city would be affected by the volcano's eruptions. The mountain rises to 10,333 feet above sea level, and over 35 eruptions from it have been recorded since 1882.