Nyamuragira volcano news & eruption updates:
Nyiamuragira & Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo), eruption warning: increased seismicity, rising magma level in Nyiragongo's crater
Africa's two most active volcanoes might erupt soon, adding to the conflict in the East Kivu region. In an interview reported in the German newspaper "Die Welt" scientist from Goma's volcano observatory are warning about possible impending eruptions of both Nyiamuragira and Nyiragongo.
Although working and living conditions in Goma are extremely difficult, to say the least, the scientist are still trying theri best to monitor both volcanoes. Head of the observatory, Kasereka Mahinda, is convinced that an eruption from Nyimuragira is going to happen soon - the volcano tends to erupt on average every 1-2 years and the last one was in late 2006, paired by increased seismicity. Also Nyiragongo volcano, which destroyed the centre of Goma in 2002 with a large flank eruption, is threatening to erupt. Mahinda points out that often both volcanoes are erupting at the same time. During the last visit of the scientists to Nyiragongo's crater in October a noticeable rise in the magma level of the lava lake was observed.
Much of the observatory's monitoring equipment has been looted, Mahinda explains, making more detailed analyses impossible, and there seems to be no way to reinstall.
This is only a side note to one of the saddest conflicts of our time. The world has been watching, more or less without reacting, a civil war in the area, which more or less has been going on for a decade now, and recently lit up very violently. It has caused countless tragedy and caused the death of thousands of people, made hundredthousands refugess. It is a wonder that some seintists are still following their call to try to monitor two of the planet's most active and dangerous volcanoes, given the present situation and circumstances.
The conflict is ultimately caused by dispute over controlling Congo's rich mineral deposits in Kivu province, and ethnical disputes in the aftermath of the 1994 Hutu-Tutsi genocide. Nkunda's Tutsi rebel army has recently advanced to the outskirts of Goma, effectively controlling the area outside town, while the Congolese army who is meant to protecting the population has looted and terrorized them. Several other armed fractions from Rwanda, Congo and other countries are involved on both sides of the fighting parties as well, while the MONUC - UN's peacekeeping force based in Goma, although the strongest emplyment of troops of any UN mission at the moment , and in numbers stronger than the tutsi rebels - has been more or less passive and retreated. could eruptUnfortunately, much of the equipment some of the seismic instrumentation installed.
Koppelingen / Bronnen:
- Ein Vulkan kurz vor dem Ausbruch - DIE WELT (German), 14 Nov 2008
As the Goma Volcano Observatory reports, the eruption at Nyiamuragira that had started on 27 November is probably close to its end. Lava emission from the eruptive fissure has been decreasing to a very low level. Due to the difficulty to access the eruption site because of hostile militant groups in the area, exact observations other than by overflights are near impossible.[meer...]
The eruption at Nyamuragira volcano continues. Protected by military from the OCHA and MONUC missions, scientist from OVG could overfly and visit the eruption area on 29 Nov. Their report (kindly provided by Kasereka Mahinda, director of OVG, and other staff at OVG), is summarized:
The location of the eruptive fissure is between the vents of Nyamuragira's eruptions in 1986 (Kitazungurwa: KT) and 2001 (Amani: AM).
During the first day of the eruption, lava flows have already travelled 10 km (!) towards the west. If the eruption continues, the flow is likely to cut the major E-W artery road from Sake to Goma lifeline. Because of the important production of toxic ash from the lava fountains, GVO warns the population of the possibility of acid rain, ash-contaminated water and crops. During its eruption in 2000, 17 people were reported killed because of drinking from ash-continaminated water sources, as well as a large number of failed pregnancies. In addition, large damage was afflicted to crops and lifestock.
One of the world's largest volcanoes, mighty Nyamuragira (also spelled Nyamulagira) in eastern Congo, is in eruption again. The eruption began around 10 pm local time on Monday, 27 Nov. 2006 as press reports.Observation of the eruption is difficult because of the unrest in the region. The area around Nyamuragira is difficult to access and home to a number of armed rebel troops notoriously opposing the government army.
The volcano, notorious for its fluid lava, last erupted in 2002 and 2004, sending lava flows into mostly uninhabited forest and farm land.