President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo has cut short a visit to Europe to address the humanitarian crisis that is looming in the eastern city of Goma after Saturday night’s re-eruption of volcano Nyiragong.
Thousands of residents in the area have fled into Rwanda as rivers of lava continue to leave a trail of devastation, setting homes and other buildings alight.
The city has a population of two million. Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and is considered among the most dangerous.
“It is a humanitarian crisis at the time where the two countries are working very hard to bring down the numbers of COVID-19 and people are just crossing the border without any paperwork but also it is becoming a security threat,” said the SABC’s foreign editor Sophie Mokoena.
Five people died when they were fleeing from the eruption of Nyirango.
Mokoena says the people were killed during an accident following a stampede of residents fleeing from the volcano.
“The border is still open. This morning the latest number is 5 000. Rwanda is willing and able to help the DRC during this trying time. They have been doing this since last night. The deadliest was in 1977 where 600 people died and many were displaced. The second largest one was in 2002 where 250 people died.”