As the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano threatens residents of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, authorities have ordered part of the city to be evacuated, causing tens of thousands to flee.
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The evacuation order, after the first signs of eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano concerned only ten districts of the city of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but as soon as it was announced by the local authorities, the entire population was started to flee, more than 600,000 people.
“It’s total panic, explains Paulin Kalinga, a humanitarian worker currently in Goma. There is a risk of an eruption and people have been asked to leave the area as a precaution as the likelihood of an eruption is high. “
“The lava is underground and is causing all the tremors we’ve been feeling lately. The whole city is moving towards Sake.”Paulin Kalinga
Saké is a locality located 27 kilometers west of Goma. This is where Nicole is headed, left in a rush at the first light of day with her two children, four and two years old. “We left with fear in our stomachs, she indicates. Everyone evacuates, it was panic. We left at six in the morning, I left everything at home. “
Nicole has left behind her husband Gaston, who hopes to join his family in the next few hours. “I let my family go because the transport that came in the morning could not take us all, he says. We are in a bind: there are a lot of traffic jams on the road that is used to evacuate, and it is too busy for the moment. “
The exodus is massive and the local authorities, overwhelmed, fear a major disaster due to the presence of magma under the city.
Eruption of Nyiragongo: the population of Goma flees – Testimonies collected by Omar Ouahmane