Sunday, June 6, 2021

Congo’s Nyiragongo Volcano

 From Atlas Obscura:

On the evening of May 22, 2021, Nyiragongo, a mountainous volcano in Democratic Republic of the Congo, suddenly erupted, killing dozens and triggering a pandemonious exodus of swaths of Goma, the city that sits on its flanks. As lava scoured anything it touched, the night sky itself hummed with deep crimson—the heavens themselves looked to be burning down.

The eruption appeared to be mercifully short-lived. Molten rock poured from fissures on Nyiragongo’s flanks and sped toward Goma, but ultimately missed the city proper. The lava, which began flowing on Saturday, stopped erupting out of the volcano sometime on Sunday morning, encouraging many to return to their homes. But that lava still left a trail of heartbreaking destruction in its wake: It ploughed through 17 villages, destroyed hundreds of homes, killed dozens, separated hundreds of children from their families, and cut off water pipelines and power supplies. The United Nations estimates that it left 20,000 without homes. (Read more.)


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