More than 150 children have been separated from their families and over 170 children are feared to be missing as people fled the city of Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, following Saturday night’s Mount Nyiragongo’s eruption, UNICEF has reported.
More than 5,000 people crossed the border into Rwanda from Goma on Saturday, and at least 25,000 were displaced in Sake, 25 km north-west of Goma.
Most of them are however slowly making their way back home since the lava has stopped flowing Sunday morning.
“There is also concern about hundreds of people returning to Goma to find damaged homes and water and electricity shortages.
It is not yet clear how many households have been affected by the eruption in the Nyiragongo Territory, north of Goma. Scores of children in the area near Goma’s airport have been left homeless and destitute. At least five deaths were directly related to the eruption in Buhene, Kibatshi and Kibumba.” UNICEF stated.
Xinhua however reports that DRC Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said that 15 people were killed while fleeing the threats of lava.
“Nine people were killed in a truck rollover accident while four victims were prisoners trying to break the Munzenze central prison in Goma.” The spokesman said.
Adding that two more people were burned to death on Sunday morning.
Nyiragongo’s last eruption in 2002 left more than 100,000 people homeless. It is considered one of the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes.