EFFECTS OF MOUNT NYIRAGONGO ERUPTION
Effects of Mount Nyiragongo Eruption : Mount Nyiragongo, the home to the world’s largest lava lake erupted on Saturday 22 may 2021. The eruption started at around 6pm which caught most of the locals by surprise because even if they were told it would erupt at any time. They didn’t expect it would be that day because it was a normal day that the locals continued with their daily activities like going to markets, agriculture and many activities but in the evening they were surprised when they saw the sky lightings and after a few minutes with a lot of pressure, the mountain started erupting.
A year ago, the Goma volcano observatory director katcho Karume made a statement that the volcanoes lava lake had been filling up quickly which increased the chances of eruption and also stated an earthquake would trigger the eruption. With such information and the rumours that were going around it was quite certain that the mountain would erupt but the locals didn’t know when the tragedy would happen.
Mountain Nyiragongo is located in virunga national park Africa’s oldest national parks where a number of tourism activities in Congo are carried out like gorilla trekking in Congo, chimpanzee trekking in virunga national park, hiking the virunga mountain in Congo, visiting the Senkwenkwe gorilla orphanage and mount Nyiragongo hike which is one of the reasons why tourist from all over the world visit virunga national park to see the world’s largest lava lake at its summit.
There are a number of effects of mount Nyiragongo eruption that have affected the people, hindered development of infrastructures and also affected the tourism in the country especially virunga side national park and the following are among the effects of mount Nyiragongo eruption;
A number of people have lost their lives as a result of the eruption and this can noted that although there has not been a given standard figure for the number of deaths associated with the lava/magma, a number of pictures have been making rounds on the internet of the people that have lost their lives and the dead bodies can be seen with burns.
This however is not only the cause of death traffic accidents have also contributed t the death of the people because the lava led the locals to panic and in this way as a result to save themselves, there has been an increase in road accidents and collisions.
Over 17 villages for instance majengo, katoyi, buhemi and many others were destroyed by the lava for instance sake which is one of the busiest trading centres where a number of locals carry out their transactions from, they sell a number of food items . a number of people have lost their businesses, capital in terms of assests , stalls due to the lava and in the long run poverty levels of areas around mount Nyiragongo will increase.
Water channels have been cut off by the lava which is also a threat to the people of Congo because water is a necessity during this hard time and because of the ongoing covid-19 global pandemic, people are advised to wash their hands with clean water and soap but with the shortage of water, it poses a threat to the locals making them much more prone to contracting the virus.
A number of transport infractures like roads have been destroyed for instance the road from Goma to Bunagana which leads to Uganda. It should be noted that the lava split the road in two parts making transport to and from Uganda to Congo through the Bunagana border post quite difficult.
Also this has hindered movement from one area to another -in other areas in the country where the lava might have destroyed the roads. A number of people have also lost their homes which has led them to be homeless, a great number of people around mount Nyiragongo have fled to Rwanda for refugee as a result of losing their belongings and shelter.
Schools and health facilities have also been destroyed by the lava flowing which is quite disheartening because there are a number of causalities from as the result of the lava. A number of schools have been closed until further notice and a number of hospitals which have been destroyed is such a threat during the tough times where are a number of individuals are injured due to the lava flow and because a number of health facilities that were not destroyed can be found at some distance which is such a threat to the areas around Nyiragongo.