Residents leave Goma, Congo, by boat on Lake Kivu Thursday, May 27, 2021, five days after Mount Nyiragongo erupted. Evacuation orders were given for most of the town, fearing further eruptions and tremors. (AP Photo/Moses Sawasawa)

Thousands evacuate Congo’s Goma amid renewed volcano threat

KASINDI, Congo (AP) — Tens of thousands of people are fleeing the city of Goma in eastern Congo fearing another volcanic eruption by Mount Nyiragongo, which spewed lava near the city last week. Traffic was jammed and pedestrians streamed through the streets, desperate to escape the impending danger.

A new eruption could occur at any moment, the military governor of Congo’s North Kivu province, Lt. Gen. Constat Ndima Kongba, announced early Thursday. He ordered the evacuation of 10 of the 18 neighborhoods in the city of 2 million people.

The center of Goma, which was spared when the volcano erupted last week, is now under threat, with activity being reported near the urban area and Lake Kivu, Kongba said.

“Based on these scientific observations, we cannot currently rule out an eruption on land or under the lake. And this could happen with very little (or no) warning,” he said. An eruption under Lake Kivu could also have harmful consequences by leading to an explosion of gas in the lake, which could destroy parts of Goma and Gisenyi in neighboring Rwanda.

Residents were advised to carry very little and told not to return to their homes until advised by authorities. Officials said that vehicles will be provided to help the evacuation.

Many people were seen heading northwest toward the town of Sake and east toward Rwanda. International organizations such as the U.N. mission in Congo had on Wednesday already begun evacuating their staff.

Maguy Balume told The Associated Press by phone that she left her home with her two children and is heading for Sake.

“I am with my two children heading toward Sake, after leaving my home. My husband is on a mission in Kinshasa and I don’t know how I’m going to meet him,” she said. “I don’t think about my house because my family’s safety and health come first. I can build another house if I want to. I know that my God will save Goma.”

Mount Nyiragongo, one of the world’s most active volcanos, turned the dark sky fiery red Saturday night and then spewed torrents of lava into villages on the outskirts of Goma destroying more than 500 homes and resulting in the deaths of more than 32 people.

Mount Nyiragongo’s last eruption was in 2002, leaving hundreds dead. The lava coated the airport runways and also left more than 100,000 homeless in the aftermath. The volcano also erupted in 1977, killing more than 600 people.

__

Kamale reported from Kinshasa, Congo. AP writer Carley Petesch in Dakar, Senegal, contributed.

Al-hadji Kudra Maliro And Jean-yves Kamale, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

A Comox Valley 55+ baseball team isa being organized for the 2021 season. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
18U AAA Carstar Braves start season strong

The Red Deer Carstar 18U AAA Carstar Braves started the Baseball Alberta… Continue reading

(Contributed image).
Online poetry reading to benefit Red Deer women experiencing period poverty

The Period Promise Poetry Powerhouse is a central Alberta collective of some… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron, right, celebrates after scoring on Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Montreal hangs on for 3-2 win to even series with Golden Knights at a game each

Canadiens 3 Golden Knights 2 (Series tied 1-1) LAS VEGAS — Montreal… Continue reading

New York Yankees Gary Sanchez celebrates his two-run home run during the seventh inning of the team's baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Cole, Sánchez, Chapman come through as Yanks edge Blue Jays

Yankees 3 Blue Jays 2 BUFFALO, N.Y. — Gerrit Cole pitched eight… Continue reading

Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young, right, is fouled by Philadelphia 76ers' Matisse Thybulle during the second half of Game 5 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Hawks rally from 26 points down, stun 76ers in Game 5

Hawks 109 76ers 106 (Atlanta leads series 3-2) PHILADELPHIA — Trae Young… Continue reading

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

OTTAWA — Annamie Paul is firing back against the coterie of party… Continue reading

Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan leaves the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Bill to implement UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples clears Senate

OTTAWA — A landmark piece of Liberal legislation aimed at harmonizing Canada’s… Continue reading

Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) flips a shot on New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Russian goalies highlight Lightning-Islanders series

NEW YORK — Semyon Varlamov is the wily veteran, coming off a… Continue reading

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime reacts during his ATP Tour Singles, Men, Round of 16 tennis match against Switzerland's Roger Federer in Halle, Germany, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Friso Gentsch-dpa via AP
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Roger Federer in second round of Noventi Open

HALLE, Germany — Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime earned one of the biggest victories… Continue reading

A course official keeps out of the sun on the seventh green during a practice round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A different US Open than imagined at Torrey Pines

The spectacular ocean vistas will fill TV screens as usual, along with… Continue reading

Most Read