The eruption of Nyiragongo Volcano
The glowing lava front of Nyiragongo, one of the world's most active and dangerous volcanoes, stopped just short of the city center and international airport of Goma, but destroyed 17 villages, killed at least 32 people and left 20,000 homeless. Many people returned to town the next day after the flow stopped, but hundreds of aftershocks in the following days put their nerves on edge. Panic broke out again five days later at midnight, when the government declared a general evacuation for fear of another eruption. Or worse, a limnic eruption: Lake Kivu is home to huge reserves of carbon dioxide and methane that, if released by an earthquake or contact with molten lava, would explode or release poisonous clouds that would kill all living things for dozens of kilometers around. This time, nearly half a million people have fled to Rwanda and to Sake, 25 km away, where a few facilities have been set up to accommodate the refugees. Some 1,361 children have been separated from their parents, and the Red Cross and UNICEF are working to reunite families.