cloudyn.png
Monday January 17th, 2022 3:00AM
12:00AM ( 3 hours ago ) News Alert

Volcanic eruption, ensuing chaos kill at least 15 in Congo

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GOMA, Congo (AP) — Torrents of lava poured into villages after dark in eastern Congo with little warning, leaving at least 15 people dead amid the chaos and destroying more than 500 homes, officials and survivors said Sunday.

The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo on Saturday night sent about 5,000 people fleeing from the city of Goma across the nearby border into Rwanda, while another 25,000 others sought refuge to the northwest in Sake, the U.N. children's agency said Sunday.

More than 170 children were still feared missing Sunday, and UNICEF officials said they were organizing transit centers to help unaccompanied children in the wake of the disaster.

Goma ultimately was largely spared the mass destruction caused by the volcano's last eruption in 2002. Hundreds died then and more than 100,000 people were left homeless. But in outlying villages closer to the volcano, Sunday was marked by grief and uncertainty.

Aline Bichikwebo and her baby managed to escape when the lava flow reached her village, but said both her mother and father were among those who perished. Community members gave a provisional toll of 10 dead in Bugamba alone, though provincial authorities said it was too soon to know how many lives were lost.

Bichikwebo says she tried to rescue her father but wasn't strong enough to move him to safety before the family's home was ignited by lava.

“I am asking for help because everything we had is gone,” she said, clutching her baby. “We don’t even have a pot. We are now orphans and we have nothing.”

The air remained thick with smoke because of how many homes had caught fire when the lava came.

“People are still panicking and are hungry,” resident Alumba Sutoye said. “They don’t even know where they are going to spend the night.”

Elsewhere, authorities said at least five other people had died in a truck crash while they were trying to evacuate Goma, but the scale of the loss had yet to be determined in some of the hardest-hit communities.

Residents said there was little warning before the dark sky turned a fiery red, sending people running for their lives in all directions. One woman went into labor and gave birth while fleeing the eruption to Rwanda, the national broadcaster there said.

Smoke rose from smoldering heaps of lava in the Buhene area near the city Sunday.

“We have seen the loss of almost an entire neighborhood," Innocent Bahala Shamavu said. “All the houses in Buhene neighborhood were burned and that’s why we are asking all the provincial authorities and authorities at the national level as well as all the partners, all the people of good faith in the world, to come to the aid of this population.”

Elsewhere, witnesses said lava had engulfed one highway connecting Goma with the city of Beni. However, the airport appeared to be spared the same fate as 2002 when lava flowed onto the runways.

Goma is a regional hub for many humanitarian agencies in the region, as well as the U.N. peacekeeping mission. While Goma is home to many U.N. peacekeepers and aid workers, much of surrounding eastern Congo is under threat from myriad armed groups vying for control of the region’s mineral resources.

___

Associated Press writer Jean Yves Kamale in Kinshasa, Congo, contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP World News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Volcanic eruption, ensuing chaos kill at least 15 in Congo
Officials and survivors say a volcanic eruption in Congo and the ensuing chaos have killed at least 15 people and destroyed more than 500 homes
9:18PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Ageless wonder Mickelson wins PGA to be oldest major champ
What will Phil do next
9:02PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Avalanche complete 4-game sweep of Blues with 5-2 win
Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves and Gabriel Landeskog scored the go-ahead goal in the second period to lift Colorado to a series sweep of the St. Louis Blues with a 5-2 win in Game 4 of the West Division series
9:00PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Viral video drew hundreds to California party; 149 arrested
A birthday party invitation that went viral on TikTok brought hundreds of people to a raucous celebration on a Southern California beach, prompting police to declare an unlawful assembly and arrest nearly 150 people after they refused orders to disperse
6:57PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Mickelson two holes away from history at PGA
Phil Mickelson has a two-stroke lead and one hole left on a try at history at the PGA Championship
6:57PM ( 2 hours ago )
National Guard mission to provide security ending at Capitol
National Guard troops are set to leave the U.S. Capitol and turn over security of the area to Capitol Police
5:47PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Italy Eurovision winners return home to cheers, a drug test
The Italian glam rock band that won the Eurovision Song Contest has returned home to adulation and so much speculation that the  singer had snorted cocaine during the show that he vowed to take a drug test
1:50PM ( 7 hours ago )
Gaza fishermen take to water again after cease-fire
The return of commercial fishing is being welcomed by residents of the Gaza Strip following 11 days of hostilities between Hamas and Israel
1:27PM ( 8 hours ago )
Italian cable car plunges to the ground, killing at least 13
A cable car taking visitors to a mountaintop view of some of northern Italy’s most picturesque lakes has plummeted to the ground, killing at least 13 people
1:27PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Ageless wonder Mickelson wins PGA to be oldest major champ
What will Phil do next
9:02PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Avalanche complete 4-game sweep of Blues with 5-2 win
Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves and Gabriel Landeskog scored the go-ahead goal in the second period to lift Colorado to a series sweep of the St. Louis Blues with a 5-2 win in Game 4 of the West Division series
9:00PM ( 33 minutes ago )
The Weeknd wins multiple honors at Billboard Awards
The Weeknd is having a great weekend: The pop star nominated for a whopping 16 Billboard Music Awards has won eight — so far
8:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
Hsu's late eagle creates big swing in first career LPGA win
Wei-Ling Hsu eagled the par-5 15th hole Sunday, creating a four-shot swing that gave her a two-shot lead, and won the LPGA Tour’s Pure Silk Championship for her first career victory
8:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
Koepka falls short, ties for 2nd at PGA with Oosthuizen
Brooks Koepka allowed Phil Mickelson to get away from him at the PGA Championship
8:03PM ( 1 hour ago )