Some residents living along with the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border of Kisoro district are in a panic over the threatened lives of their relatives in the neighbouring North Kivu province following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo.
Located in the Virunga National Park about 20 kilometres north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and about 46 kilometres away from the Uganda-DRC border of Bunagana in Kisoro district, Mount Nyiragongo erupted on Saturday evening forcing thousands of residents to flee, a majority of them to Rwanda.
Ismail Ndayambaje, the Mayor for Bunagana Town Council told our reporter that they had not received any arrivals at the Bunagana border by Sunday morning. Ndayambaje, however, says that the eruption has created a lot of fear among residents in Bunagana especially those with close relatives in Goma.
He says that residents are worried because most of them have failed to communicate with their relatives since the eruption occurred last evening. Today, they held prayers in Kisoro calling for divine intervention to control lava that is said to be approaching the city and blocking transport along major routes.
Emmanuel Bibusa, the LCI Chairperson for Kanombe village in Gisozi parish, Muramba Sub County says that he has five relatives in north Kivu province and he praying that they survive the tragedy. Alex Mugisha, also a resident of Muramba Sub County has three relatives whom he says are currently out of reach.
DR Congo government spokesman, Patrick Muyaya has today morning called on the people of North Kivu to rely much more on official messages from provincial or national authorities, which are monitoring the situation very closely.
Mount Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and is considered among the most dangerous. The last eruption in 2002 killed 250 people and left 120,000 homeless. Records show that more than one million people live near the active crater, with Goma just a dozen miles south.