The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo devised a plan to evacuate the residents of the eastern city of Goma, following the eruption of a huge volcano.
Mount Nyiragongo volcano spews enormous lava, the red smoke of which lit up the city sky at night.
The volcano, which is one of the most active in the world, is ten kilometers from the city.
The terror prompted Goma’s two million inhabitants to flee for their lives.
The last eruption of this volcano was in 2002, and it killed 250 people and displaced 120,000 others.
A government spokesman said in a tweet on Twitter: “The government has embarked on a plan to evacuate the residents of Goma, and urgent measures are being discussed.”
Before announcing the evacuation plan, the government spokesman had announced that the authorities were closely monitoring the situation, and were urging residents to calm down.
The authorities advised the residents of Goma to go towards Saki. Crowds of residents were seen carrying their belongings, heading to the border with Rwanda.
And the Agence France-Presse news agency quoted a resident of the area adjacent to the volcano as saying that “the smell of phosphorus is spreading in the air, and from a distance you can see giant flames being thrown out by the crater.”
The Rwandan newspaper New Times broadcast on its website a video of the erupting volcano from Rubavu province, which borders Rwanda.
Others released videos of lava spewed by the volcano, whose most destructive eruption occurred in 1977, killing more than 600 people.
Reuters quoted a volcanologist in Goma as saying that a new crater had opened, and that the lava had reached the city’s airport.
The Goma Volcano Monitor has faced problems in carrying out its duties since the World Bank cut off its funding due to suspicions of corruption.