Nyiragongo volcano update: Volcanic crisis continues, easing slowly, while possible cholera outbreaks add to worries

Tue, 1 Jun 2021, 14:33
14:33 PM | BY: T
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.

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