According to an official source, the government ordered the evacuation of the eastern DRC city of Goma on Saturday 22 May after the eruption of Nyiragongo volcano.
Communications Minister Patrick Mia announced on Twitter that “the plan to evacuate the city of Goma has been activated.”
“The government is discussing urgent measures that will be taken from now on,” he added.
The decision was announced after an “urgent government meeting on the volcanic eruption in Goma.”
Nyiragongo volcano erupted on Saturday night. At least one river of lava flows eastward, towards the nearby border with Rwanda.
This sudden eruption caused panic among the population. Thousands of people fled from the south of the city to a nearby border point with Rwanda and others from the west to the Masisi region.
“There are a lot of people on the road and many cars running away,” a neighbor, who was driving his family to the town of Saki on Masisi Road, told AFP.
“It moves at the pace of the snail, in three or four lanes. Cars are full of personal belongings, mattresses in the box or on roofs,” as he described. “There are children, women and the elderly who walk and with the rain it is complicated.”
The Goma region, in North Kivu province bordering Uganda, is an area of intense volcanic activity, with six volcanoes, including Nyiragongo and Nyamuragera, which are very close to each other and at an altitude of 3470 and 3058 meters respectively.