The volcano is located right next to the city of Goma, which has about 1 million inhabitants.
Although local officials say that there is little danger that the flow of lava will reach parts of the city, many fled their homes in panic.
The blast started at 7 pm local time. Local authorities ask people to follow the messages of civil safety. As soon as the explosion started, there was a power failure in a large part of the city.
Strong smell of sulfur over the city
– The black evening sky shines with a red-hot glow, A reporter who worked for AFP in Goma says
There is a strong mist of sulfur above the city, and volcanologist Dario Tedesco told Reuters that he sees large amounts of lava flowing from the volcano.
The last Nyaragongo eruption occurred in January 2002, when hundreds of people were killed and hundreds of thousands fled the city due to large parts of eastern Goma being covered with lava and ash.
The deadliest outbreak occurred in 1977 when more than 600 people lost their lives.
Nearly half the city is devastated
The Goma region is located in the North Kivu Province and lies on the border of Rwanda and Uganda, with six volcanoes that are more than 3,000 meters high.
Nyaragongo is a volcano in eastern Congo, near the border with Rwanda, which has an elevation of 3,469 meters above sea level. It is located in Virunga National Park and is one of the most active volcanoes in Africa Store Norske Lexicon.
During an eruption in January 2002, three lava flows occurred. One of them reached the city of Goma, located about 10 kilometers south of the volcano, and destroyed about 40 percent of the city.
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