A second volcano erupted Saturday near the eastern DR Congo city of Goma, a week after Mount Nyiragongo roared back into life, causing devastation and sparking an exodus.
“Today the Murara volcano near an uninhabited area of Virunga erupted,” government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said, referring to a wildlife reserve that is home to a quarter of the world’s population of critically endangered mountain gorillas.
Murara is a small volcano considered a crater of Nyamuragira, which along with Nyiragongo is known for strong volcanic activity.
It is located about 25 kilometres north of Goma, the capital of the North Kivu province.
Located on the shore of Lake Kivu in the shadow of Nyiragongo, Africa’s most active volcano, the city has lived in fear since it erupted last Saturday.
The strato-volcano spewed rivers of lava that claimed nearly three dozen lives and destroyed the homes of some 20,000 people before the eruption stopped.
Tens of thousands had fled Goma last Saturday night but many returned when the eruption ended the following day.
Scientists have since recorded hundreds of aftershocks.
They warn of a potentially catastrophic scenario — a “limnic eruption” that could smother the area with suffocating carbon dioxide.
Goma was quiet on Saturday with limited tremors roughly averaging once every hour, as against once every 10 minutes earlier, an AFP journalist said.
There were a handful of vehicles on the streets which were semi-deserted and only some small shops were open.
A report on an emergency meeting early Friday said 80,000 households — around 400,000 inhabitants — had emptied on Thursday following a “preventative” evacuation order.
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