Nyiragongo volcano flank eruption May 2021 - activity updates

Actualizado: 15 ago. 2022 21:31 GMT - Refresh

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): lava effusion continues

vie, 8 jul 2022, 18:52
18:52 PM | POR: MARTIN
Clear view into the lava lake within the Nyiragongo's crater captured on 1 July (image: Sentinel 2)
Clear view into the lava lake within the Nyiragongo's crater captured on 1 July (image: Sentinel 2)
The effusive eruption at the volcano continues.
A satellite image from 1 July confirms that the lava continues to supply Nyiragongo's main lava lake and its currently stable condition suggests that there is a delicate equilibrium between heat and magma supply and loss (through cooling and mild emissions during degassing).

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): dead fish discovered in Lake Kivu, investigation ordered due to possible connection with volcanic activity

mar, 7 jun 2022, 04:18
04:18 AM | POR: MARTIN
Map of the Goma area with Nyiragongo volcano, Lake Kivu and Kabuko Bay (image: Charles Balagizi)
Map of the Goma area with Nyiragongo volcano, Lake Kivu and Kabuko Bay (image: Charles Balagizi)
Charles Balagizi, the local geochemist and geohazards researcher at Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO), reported that a dead fish has been found in Lake Kivu's Kabuno Bay today.
The case may be related to the presence of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) involved, well-known for its volcanic origin in this area. Local scientists ruled out methane gas (CH₄).
Scientific investigation is necessary to solve the issue.

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): strong SO2 emissions, drainback continues at stable levels

mar, 15 mar 2022, 03:04
03:04 AM | POR: MARTIN
Increasing SO2 emissions from the Nyiragongo's main crater as seen from space (image: Sentinel 2)
Increasing SO2 emissions from the Nyiragongo's main crater as seen from space (image: Sentinel 2)
The effusive eruption at the volcano continues.
A satellite image from 13 March confirms that the lava continues to supply the Nyiragongo's main lava lake and its currently stable condition suggests that there is a delicate equilibrium between heat and magma supply and loss (through cooling and mild emissions during degassing).
A generally high amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions has been observed in the satellite imagery.

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): SO2 flux update

jue, 27 ene 2022, 04:52
04:52 AM | POR: MARTIN
SO2 flux at Nyiragongo volcano detected via Mounts monitoring system (image: Charles Balagizi/twitter)
SO2 flux at Nyiragongo volcano detected via Mounts monitoring system (image: Charles Balagizi/twitter)
The MOUNTS volcano monitoring system detected sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions at the volcano that reached to a 307,60 tonnes/day on 24 January.

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): growing lava lake

jue, 13 ene 2022, 00:45
00:45 AM | POR: MARTIN
Satellite cloud-free view on Nyiragongo's main crater today (image: Sentinel 2)
Satellite cloud-free view on Nyiragongo's main crater today (image: Sentinel 2)
The effusive eruption at the volcano continues.
Judging from today's clear available image, the lava continues to supply the Nyiragongo's main lava lake and its currently stable condition suggests that there is a delicate equilibrium between heat and magma supply and loss (through cooling and mild emissions during degassing).

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): flight observation over erupting crater

vie, 7 ene 2022, 23:07
23:07 PM | POR: MARTIN
Nyiragongo's main crater seen from the plane on 5 January (image: Enoch David/twitter)
Nyiragongo's main crater seen from the plane on 5 January (image: Enoch David/twitter)
An aerial flight over the Nyiragongo volcano has been made on 5 January that offers spectacular views into the main crater's eruption where the lava continues to fill the lava lake.

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): intense activity continues

jue, 30 dic 2021, 19:09
19:09 PM | POR: MARTIN
Glow at Nyiragongo volcano visible from space (image: Sentinel 2)
Glow at Nyiragongo volcano visible from space (image: Sentinel 2)
The Goma Volcanological Observatory (OVG) reported that the intense activity on the southern flank of the volcano continues.
A field research during 23-29 December reveals that the activity is focused in between Kibati, Shaheru and Mudjoga.
A fumarolic activity is being observed accompanied by white-to-blue emissions of water vapor, gas and intense heat. In different places of the area is felt a smell of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions.
A high continuous volcanic tremor is detected by instruments located at Nyiragongo summit, Kibati, Rusayo and Bulengo.
People are advised to keep strict hygiene rules, cover food and dishes and avoid drinking rain and lake water.
Source: Goma Volcanological Observatory volcano activity update 30 December 2021

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): inner crater activity continues at stable conditions

mié, 1 dic 2021, 18:24
18:24 PM | POR: MARTIN
Spattering at two vents within the main Nyiragongo crater (image: @CharlesBalagizi/twitter)
Spattering at two vents within the main Nyiragongo crater (image: @CharlesBalagizi/twitter)
Crater view of the current activity (image: @CharlesBalagizi/twitter)
Crater view of the current activity (image: @CharlesBalagizi/twitter)
The effusive eruption at the volcano continues.
Judging from available images (27 November), a small lava spattering is seen from two vents that continue to supply to the Nyiragongo's main crater.

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): actively growing lava lake at high levels

dom, 10 oct 2021, 16:05
16:05 PM | POR: MARTIN
Satellite image from 9 October confirms high activity in the inner summit crater (image: Sentinel 2)
Satellite image from 9 October confirms high activity in the inner summit crater (image: Sentinel 2)
The effusive eruption of the volcano continues at high levels.
According to a satellite image from yesterday (9 October), the lava flows remain active and continue to fill the summit crater's lava lake.
The lava returned to the crater 11 days ago and started to form the new lava lake.

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): lava lake returns

mié, 29 sep 2021, 23:25
23:25 PM | POR: MARTIN
Partially visible glowing lava lake in the summit crater from satellite today (image: Sentinel 2)
Partially visible glowing lava lake in the summit crater from satellite today (image: Sentinel 2)
The effusive activity of the volcano continues.
A satellite image from today confirms that a lava returned to the main crater and formed a new lava lake.

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): impressive aerial footage of summit caldera

vie, 27 ago 2021, 06:34
06:34 AM | POR: MARTIN
Satellite image from 25 August confirmed the inactive lava lake at Nyiragongo volcano (image: Sentinel 2)
Satellite image from 25 August confirmed the inactive lava lake at Nyiragongo volcano (image: Sentinel 2)
A stunning aerial video from 26 August shows beautiful view of the summit caldera at Nyiragongo volcano.
A satellite image from 25 August depicts that active vents currently continue to be inactive and the lava lake seems to have disappeared at this time.
The volcano is well-known for its the world's most active and largest lava lake, currently inactive.

Summit caldera at Nyiragongo volcano from air on 26 August (source: @Nyiragongoinfo/twitter)

Seismic and ground deformation activity continue to slow down

Update Thu 03 Jun 2021 19:49
Seismic activity continues to decline, with small quakes (not felt) being detected south of the volcano and under Lake Kivu. Similarly, GPS- and satellite-based measures of ground deformation also show a decreasing trend.
This is good news for Goma and its surroundings: the likelihood of a new eruption in the near future continues to decrease, although vigilance remains high.

Volcanic crisis continues, easing slowly, while possible cholera outbreaks add to worries

Update Tue 01 Jun 2021 14:33
Latest earthquakes in the area of northeastern Lake Kivu (image: Rwanda Seismic Monitor)
Latest earthquakes in the area of northeastern Lake Kivu (image: Rwanda Seismic Monitor)
Earthquakes in the area of northeastern Lake Kivu yesterday (image: Rwanda Seismic Monitor)
Earthquakes in the area of northeastern Lake Kivu yesterday (image: Rwanda Seismic Monitor)
No new eruption has occurred so far, fortunately, and with each day passing, its likelihood probably becomes a bit less. However, both seismic and deformation activity of the ground in the area of Goma and Lake Kivuare continue, and while on a decreasing trend, remain significant. During yesterday, 71 quakes were reported in the area.
It can only be hoped that the suspected (and likely) magma intrusion underneath will simply stop and eventually cool without breaking towards the surface and cause an eruption.
At any rate, it would be too early to call the volcanic crisis be over: "earthquakes and ground deformation data continue to indicate the presence of magma under the urban area of Goma with an extension under Lake Kivu", according the the latest update of the dedicated site of Belgium's Royal Museum for Central Africa.
According to the latest data, the seismic and GPS deformation data suggest that the magma intrusion at depth has either halted, paused or at least shifted to (less worrying) locations towards the north, according to the institute's update. Whether deformation is occurring at the floor of Lake Kivu itself is unfortunately impossible to detect at the moment.
More measurements are on the way and will allow scientists in the near future to better evaluate the situation, hopefully allowing the displaced people from large parts of Goma to return safely.

In the meanwhile, the human situation of people on the ground remains very difficult. More than 230,000 displaced people are crowding neighboring towns and villages. Lack of clean water, food and medical supplies, as well electricity in parts of Goma, are creating catastrophic conditions in many places. To add to all this misery, health authorities are worried about outbreaks of cholera - at least 35 suspected cases have been found so far.

Situation remains tense

Update Sun 30 May 2021 04:00
The situation around Goma remains tense. Earthquakes continue in the area, but fortunately seem to follow a decreasing trend overall.
Several scientists, notably from Italy's INGV, are arriving in the area to help the underfunded Goma Volcano Observatory staff monitoring the volcano and asses the situation.
In the meanwhile, several detailed maps of the recent lava flows and their impact have been published by various agencies, e.g.:
Find
Vents and lava flows of the 22-23 May 2021 eruption of Nyiragongo (USGS)
Vents and lava flows of the 22-23 May 2021 eruption of Nyiragongo (USGS)
Map of the lava flows (EU)
Map of the lava flows (EU)

Nyiragongo volcano (DR Congo): fears of potential catastrophic eruption trigger partial evacuation of Goma City

jue, 27 may 2021, 20:43
20:43 PM | POR: T
Recent earthquakes near Nyiragongo volcano (image: Rwanda Seismic Monitor)
Recent earthquakes near Nyiragongo volcano (image: Rwanda Seismic Monitor)
Authorities are highly concerned about the risk of a second - potentially more destructive if not catastrophic - eruption from the volcano in the near future and have ordered the partial evacuation of Goma, where a mass exodus seems to have started, making the overall situation even more chaotic and difficult.
The reason scientists worry are both a lack in precise monitoring data, the potential of large impact of an eruption, and the continuing earthquakes that rattle the area around Goma and Gyseni, as well as ground cracks in and around Goma, which might indicate that magma is accumulating beneath the area and could well lead to a new eruption.
More than 200 tremors have been recorded in the past 2 days. According to some unconfirmed posts on social media, some of the new ground cracks expose glow beneath (likely from hot gasses if true).

According to latest findings of researchers, the recent eruption indeed drained the lava lake, but according to some sources, it has already partially refilled (or did not drain entirely).
Ash plumes are rising from the crater of the volcano, likely from internal collapses after the (partial?) drainage of the lava lake. Combined with the intense degassing activity, they create dangerously contaminated acid rain and people are urged not to use rain water for cooking, washing etc if any possible.

From a summary on reliefweb:
"Researchers observing the volcano have a limited sense of the current risk level; the situation remains highly unpredictable as several warning signs emerge of the risk of a new eruption in the next few days, including multiple cracks on the ground, emission of gas and the worrying fact that the Kivu crater seems to have refilled very quickly, indicating another possible eruption. The IRC is preparing a response to meet the escalating humanitarian needs in collaboration with the government and other NGOs. There is now a desperate need for an increase in funding through support from the international community."

There are several scenarios how the situation might evolve (adapted from Nyiragongo : de 3 scénarios présentés par l'OVG, une prochaine éruption du volcan est inévitable):

Scenario 1:
A new eruption of Nyiragongo on its southern flank, where fractures open in the area of Goma and Gisenyi cities. Lava flows would likely destroy destroy part of them.

Scenario 2:
An eruption of Nyiragongo volcano on its southern flank, but with fissures INSIDE the city and extending close to Kivu lake. Large volumes of lava destroy part of the cities of Goma and Gisenyi and reaches the lake. The amount of lava that would flow into the lake is insufficient to raise the temperature of the deep water over the entire lake by at least 1° C, there will be no lake overturn and eruption of deadly dissolved CO2 from the gas-rich deep-lake water.

Scenario 3:
An eruption of Nyiragongo volcano opening of fractures on its southern flank inside the city and/or inside the lake Kivu. Parts of Goma and Giseny would be destroyed and the heat released by lava in the lake would trigger an overturn of the deep lake water rich in dissolved CO2. This would cause a catastrophic overturn and sudden release of large quantities of CO2, a so-called limnic eruption. The gas cloud would instantly kill all people and animals at lower elevations around the lake - likely thousands of people.
The same could be triggered if a very large earthquake was to occur under the lake sufficiently disturbing the water layering...
While this is the worst scenario, it is hopefully also the least likely.

Scenario 4:
No eruption occurs. Seismic activity gradually dies down, as it is a result of internal readjustments after the recent eruption.

Nyiragongo volcano (DR Congo): death toll rises to 32, ground cracks and tremors continue to worry

mié, 26 may 2021, 18:13
18:13 PM | POR: T
Recent ground fissure from Nyiragongo (image: Oliveira Simeon @oliveira_simeon / twitter)
Recent ground fissure from Nyiragongo (image: Oliveira Simeon @oliveira_simeon / twitter)
Slowly new details are becoming available about the recent eruption and current activity at the volcano and underground in form of earthquakes that continue to worry both scientists and the local population.
Recent high-resolution INSAR radar images showed that the ground south of the volcano has risen by several centimeters during or since the eruption. The vertical displacement is highest in the area of Goma city, where numerous cracks in the ground have become visible.
This leads to fears that one possible scenario (not necessarily the most likely) could be the formation of a new dike - or lava-filled fissure - that could open in this area and produce a second, potentially catastrophic flank eruption.
Similar ground cracks were also observed during and shortly after the last flank eruptions in 1977 and 2002, but fortunately did not result in additional eruptions, but are thought to relate to adjustments of the ground after the drainage of significant volumes of magma during both eruptions. It is to be hoped that the same is true this time and that the seismic activity will gradually die down and not be followed by new lava eruptions at low elevations. More research and observations in the following days and weeks will be needed to get a bitter picture.
In the meanwhile, the death toll from the eruption has increased to 32 people, most of which died by secondary causes not the lava itself. The lava flows destroyed 2500 buildings including 3 medical centers.

Nyiragongo volcano update: morphological changes to crater

mié, 26 may 2021, 07:06
07:06 AM | POR: MARTIN
Morphological changes to crater occurred after the latest effusive eruption from Nyiragongo volcano (image: @simoncarn/twitter)
Morphological changes to crater occurred after the latest effusive eruption from Nyiragongo volcano (image: @simoncarn/twitter)
New post-eruption satellite images of the volcano reveals morphological changes in the volcano's summit crater. From the latest available imagery (25 May) and compared to the image from 13 May it seems to has partially collapsed.
According to satellite image from Sentinel 1, lava flows that have stopped at in the village of Buhene in the outskirts of Goma City, erupted from Shaheru crater located on the south flank of Nyiragongo volcano.

GIF animation of partially collapse of the volcano's summit crater (image: @simoncarn/twitter)


GIF animation from 19 and 25 May at the volcano depicting lava flows (image: @simoncarn/twitter)

Nyiragongo volcano update: first radar image after eruption

mar, 25 may 2021, 08:53
08:53 AM | POR: MARTIN
Ultra-high resolution satellite image of the volcano's summit crater from 23 May (image: @capellaspace/twitter)
Ultra-high resolution satellite image of the volcano's summit crater from 23 May (image: @capellaspace/twitter)
An amazing and first ultra-high resolution satellite image after the eruption shows visible changes at the summit crater.

Nyiragongo volcano update: elevated tremor continues

mar, 25 may 2021, 08:31
08:31 AM | POR: MARTIN
Elevated volcanic tremor at roughly regular intervals detected tonight (image: @EarthQuakesTime/twitter)
Elevated volcanic tremor at roughly regular intervals detected tonight (image: @EarthQuakesTime/twitter)
The seismic activity of the volcano quickly intensified after the eruption and continues at elevated levels although lava flows have stopped.
The seismic network detected continuous volcanic tremor between midnight and 04:00 local time today indicating magma moving upwards through the volcanic conduits. This may be typical sign for an upcoming eruption.
The strong volcanic tremor at roughly regular intervals has been felt in Goma city by local observers as huge cracks started to appear in the roads and buildings.

Huge cracks in the roads and buildings caused by elevated tremor (source: @Melaniegouby/twitter)

Nyiragongo volcano (DR Congo): death toll rises while ongoing tremors worry scientists and locals

mar, 25 may 2021, 08:15
08:15 AM | POR: T
Earthquakes detected near Nyiragongo on 24 May (source: www.rmb.gov.rw)
Earthquakes detected near Nyiragongo on 24 May (source: www.rmb.gov.rw)
Sadly, the death toll from the recent eruption rose to at least 20, after 5 people were found choked to death from toxic fumes when they attempted to cross one of the recent and barely cooled down lava flows that had cut through their neighborhood in an area 13 km north of Goma.
What gas exactly caused their death was not mentioned, but one speculation is it could odorless carbon dioxide trapped in depressions on the surface of the flow - the slopes of Nyiragongo are infamous for many fissures and ground vents emanating accumulating sometimes deadly concentrations of the highly toxic gas.

Nature of eruption still unclear
While the eruption is probably over or at least in a pause, it's still not clear whether the lava erupted was from a sideways fissure connected with the central conduit that drained the lava lake from the volcano's summit caldera, or from a new lateral conduit tapping a separate reservoir.
During an overflight, the scientists from the Goma Volcano Observatory were not able to see whether the lava lake in the summit caldera was still present or not due to thick cloud cover.
What seems to worry local people almost as much as a potential re-activation of the eruption and new lava flows are frequent earthquakes that have started to occur under the flanks of the volcano since the eruption.
It is hoped that these reflect internal re-adjustments after the dike and the connected reservoir that had caused the eruption had been emptied. A more concerning prospect would be if the tremors are being caused by magma movements underground, something that cannot be ruled out.

"If there is lava in the crater, the fracturing caused by the movement of the earth would represent new activity."
"If there is no lava in the crater, then these earthquakes are happening because the earth is in the process of refinding its balance.", the director of the volcano observatory, Kasereka Mahinda said.

According to the Rwanda Seismic Monitor, the quakes had magnitudes of up to 5 and most of their epicenters were located in Cyanzarwe and Rubavu sectors (SE of the volcano). The strongest so far was a 5.1 event under Lake Kivu in the Rubavu district at 08:37 GMT. A 4.5-magnitude quake followed at 11:53 GMT. According to information via AFP, many people are afraid to stay indoors due to the quakes.

It appears that schools and most other public buildings remain closed, and electricity is still down in much of Goma

Link: Volcano death toll rises as aftershocks shake DR Congo (phys.org)

Recent eruption claims at least 15 fatalities and leaves hundreds homeless

Update Mon 24 May 2021 05:54
Lava flow from Saturday's eruption at Nyiragongo volcano through the outskirts of Goma (image: MONUSCO @MONUSCO / twitter)
Lava flow from Saturday's eruption at Nyiragongo volcano through the outskirts of Goma (image: MONUSCO @MONUSCO / twitter)
While the situation on location remains far from clear, it can probably be said already that the eruption at least for now already has ended and that the lava flows have stopped at in the village of Buhene in the outskirts of Goma City.
During a press release by government officials last night, 15 fatalities were confirmed as well as more than 170 children missing and 150 who lost contact with their families. The numbers are preliminary and might very well rise, unfortunately. It is worth noting that out of the 15 known fatalities, 9 occurred in traffic accidents while people tried panicky to evacuate threatened areas, and 4 were prisoners trapped in a building built by lava.
On Reuters press material published in an article of BBC, an aerial photo shows a part of the tongue of lava, about 50 m wide and extending several hundred meters has resurfaced and wiped out a part of the inhabited area.
Compared to the lava flow in 2002 that destroyed the center of the city, the damage this time has been relatively small, fortunately.
As to what exactly caused the eruption and whether it drained the lava lake occupying the summit crater of the volcano, or whether it was an independent batch of lava that burst out from a low-elevation flank fissure, is not clear yet. The history of the volcano's eruptions would favor the idea that the lava drained from the central conduit, emptying the lava lake, but on the other hand, the volume of the erupted lava might have to be expected to be larger. More detailed investigations in the following weeks will answer this question.

The lava flow also crossed the highway connecting Goma with the city of Beni, but the airport was not damaged, contrary to early reports that said it was touched as well.

Earthquakes reported in and around Goma

Update Sun 23 May 2021 14:25
Earthquakes have been occurring in the area, as users reported via our quake report service and authorities confirmed. People are advised to remain vigilant, avoid non-essential movements, and follow directions.

Lava flow reported to have come to halt in northeastern suburb

Update Sun 23 May 2021 07:28
The latest available news seem to confirm that the lava flow from last night has stopped or at least decreased its advance significantly, after touching the northeastern suburb of Buhene and destroying a number of homes.
The city government who ordered the evacuation of the city last evening yet has to update on the situation.
"People are slowly starting to return to their homes, the situation is rather calm for the moment," testified a resident of Goma on Sunday morning, an article in Radio Télévision Suisse mentioned: "But the population is still afraid, it is uncertain because the authorities did not make any communication this morning".
At least for now, the worst seems to have been avoided. Electricity was cut off in some parts of the city last night. It's not clear whether it has been restored.

Hope for Goma and good news as eruption reported subsiding in intensity

Update Sun 23 May 2021 06:54
According to a post by NewTimesRwanda, the eruption appears to subside and some of the residents who had fled from Goma to Rwanda are returning home.

Some pictures from last night, showing the approx. location of the fissure on the volcano's southeastern flank, likely in a similar area as the one that had opened during the 2002 flank eruption:

Lava flows reach Goma City

Update Sun 23 May 2021 06:30
Lava reaching the city of Goma (image: ActorsLoungeUKClapper board @CK_Gogetter / twitter)
Lava reaching the city of Goma (image: ActorsLoungeUKClapper board @CK_Gogetter / twitter)
The situation is quickly worsening. According to local reports, the lava flows have reached the airport and are now thought to cross the city (again, as in 2002) to reach Kivu lake.
Mass panic has broken out in Goma and thousands are fleeing into other locations including Rwanda across the nearby border. The situation is chaotic.

Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo) activity update: highly fluid lava flows threat inhabited areas

sáb, 22 may 2021, 22:29
22:29 PM | POR: MARTIN
Eruption illuminates sky over Goma city (image: @CharlesBalagizi/twitter)
Eruption illuminates sky over Goma city (image: @CharlesBalagizi/twitter)
Eruption illuminates sky over Goma city (image: @imfuraluc01/twitter)
Eruption illuminates sky over Goma city (image: @imfuraluc01/twitter)
The flank effusive eruption of the volcano continues at high levels and illuminates the sky over the capital city of Goma.
The new eruptive fissure vent on the eastern flank, as reported by observers in social media, is feeding fast-flowing lava flows - thanks to the volcano's extraordinarily fluid lavas at extremely low viscosity - that continue to advance towards Busambali, Byungo, Mudja province including Goma capital city and are expected to threaten inhabited areas.
The extremely fluid 1977 lava flows caused many fatalities, as did lava flows that inundated portions of the major city of Goma in January 2002.

Fast-flowing lava flows have started to descend on the eastern slopes of the volcano (source: @paulakahumbu/twitter)

Nyiragongo volcano (DR Congo): new flank eruption with large lava flows

sáb, 22 may 2021, 21:46
21:46 PM | POR: T
Lava flow on Nyiragongo volcano (image:  FOBOS PLANET video)
Lava flow on Nyiragongo volcano (image: FOBOS PLANET video)
A new flank eruption started at the volcano this afternoon. It seems that a fissure opened on the eastern(?) flank, and drained the lava lake inside the volcano.
Large lava flows can be seen on published imagery, but it seems that so far, the city of Goma, partially destroyed in 2002 during the last flank eruption of the volcano, is not threatened (yet).
The lava of Nyiragongo volcano is particularly fluid and therefore its lateral eruptions that produce fast-flowing lava flows are more dangerous than from most other volcanoes.
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