Death toll from volcanic eruption in DR Congo rises to 32

Tuesday May 25 2021
Nyiragongo volcano

The smoldering lava from the Mount Nyiragongo eruption is seen in Goma on May 23, 2021. PHOTO | MOSES SAWASAWA | AFP



The death toll linked to the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo volcano on Saturday in the northeastern province of North Kivu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has risen to 32 and is likely to further rise, the DRC authorities said Monday.

Among the victims, nine were burned to death when lava hit their homes, and five died from inhaling smoke or toxic gas when walking across the cooling lava, said Joseph Makundi, head of civil protection of the province.

Another 14 people were killed in a truck rollover accident while four other victims were prisoners trying to break the Munzenze central prison in Goma, capital of North Kivu, added the official.

A government delegation arrived in Goma on Monday to assess the situation and provide humanitarian, health and security services.

Although the lava flow has stopped short of Goma, seismic movements are still noticeable, causing cracks in local households. Provincial authorities urged residents of the red zone to follow orders and not to return to their homes.