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DR Congo: Volcano Nyiragongo - May 2021

RD del Congo
Tipos de desastres

On Saturday 22 May around 18.30 UTC, first news of an eruption of the Volcano Nyiragongo, situated in the north of the city of Goma in North Kivu province, started to appear on media websites. Effusive eruption was quickly confirmed, with reports of power cuts, people self-evacuating and crossing the border to Rwanda. The evacuation plan of the city of Goma was activated by the authorities very quickly. As of today (23/05), it seems that the situation has calmed down and people have been allowed to go back home even so, some seismic activities are still on-going and the potential threats caused by volcanic gas (SO2 and CO2) are not fully averted. A main road north of Goma (N2) has been cut by the lava flows and may have a significant impact on movements towards north. The extent of the damages are not yet known and are being assessed for the time-being. (ECHO, 23 May 2021)

The number of earthquakes detected in the area of Nyiragongo volcano and the deformation rates have decreased slightly since 29 May 2021. However, seismic activity and ground deformation continue to indicate the presence of magma under the urban area of Goma with an extension under Lake Kivu. An estimated 415,700 people have been displaced across several localities in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and across the border in Rwanda. Authorities and humanitarian organisations are providing help for those most affected. The rehabilitation of the damaged water supply system in Goma is ongoing. The risk of a cholera outbreak remains. Twelve suspected cholera cases were reported in the health centre of Saké between 27 and 29 May. Saké hosts more than 56,000 displaced persons and most suspected cholera cases are among them. (ECHO, 31 May 2021)

It was reported that 288,404 people in Nyiragongo Territory were affected, 32 reported deaths, including 13 people during the evacuation of the city, 14 people burned by the lava and 5 asphyxiated by gases. The DRC North Kivu Branch has received 540 requests for tracing missing children and 40 adults have been reported missing. 1,722 structures have been destroyed, but the number will continue to rise as assessments are completed, and 18km of road cut-off. (IFRC, 1 Jun 2021)

Following the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano on May 22, Congolese authorities ordered the evacuation of 10 of Goma's 18 neighborhoods. As of June 6, IOM counted more than 400,000 displaced people internally as well as to Rwanda, including 160,000 people who have already returned. Certain businesses and services such as banks are closed and certain markets partially or totally interrupted, which particularly affects the informal sector on which many very poor and poor households depend. Humanitarian actors have provided assistance areas of displacement, but this remains largely insufficient in view of the needs in WASH, shelter and food security in particular. The government recently announced that returns would be organized gradually during the month of June and the various services are expected to reopen in the coming days. (FEWSNET, 8 Jun 2021)

450,000 people were displaced and evacuated after the Nyiragongo volcano eruption. The majority (over 80%) returned to their localities or neighborhoods of origin. 4,051 households are currently living in collective centers and temporary sites (IOM/DIVA). An unknown number are living with host families in Nyiragongo. (IFRC, 8 Jul 2021)

Over 21,133 of the people displaced in the aftermath of the eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo on 22 May 2021 have now found shelter in 11 schools and two churches in Goma and Nyiragongo and will soon move to temporary sites established by the Military Government. 15,540 individuals remain displaced in collective sites and host families in Masisi, Rutshuru and Minova. (UNHCR, 6 Aug 2021)

The eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo volcano on 22 May 2021 forced more than 364,000 people to flee their homes in Goma and surrounding areas according to OCHA’s estimates. The majority of the people have since returned, but an estimated 5,612 people (1,900 households) remain displaced in Masisi and Rutshuru territories according to UNHCR’s protection monitoring partner INTERSOS. According to joint assessments, led by the local authorities, over 28,500 persons or 4,173 families have been affected by the volcano. Out of this, nearly 20,000 persons (2,901 families) have lost their homes, while almost 900 individuals (130 families) have lost their land and 7,800 persons (1,142 families) have lost the houses that they were renting. Out of this, 2,892 persons with specific needs have been identified, including persons living with a handicap, pregnant women and elderly persons. (UNHCR, 5 Nov 2021)