Thousands Flee DRC Volcano

People leave Goma following Nyiragongo’s eruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. May 22, 2021. Image: Guerchom Ndebo/AFP/Getty
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People leave Goma following Nyiragongo’s eruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. May 22, 2021. Image: Guerchom Ndebo/AFP/Getty

Hundreds of children are feared missing or separated from their families after thousands in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo fled the eruption of the notorious Mount Nyiragongo, according to UNICEF.
 
The children were lost in the fray as 8,000 people crossed from the city of Goma into Rwanda to escape the eruption, CNN reports.
 
At least 15 people have died in the wake of the eruption that left the sky a “fearsome red,” The Washington Post reports. Residents watched from rooftops as lava pooled through the city. Locals said there were no official instructions on how to respond.
 

Returning home: Evacuees are now heading back home after the eruption subsided—but many may find water and electricity shortages and damaged homes. 

UNICEF teams and DRC authorities are working to limit the spread of cholera and reunite families.

Defunded warning system: The World Bank recently decided not to renew funding for Goma’s volcano observatory because of embezzlement and corruption allegations. Work at the observatory ceased from November 2020 until April 2021, when provisional funding was obtained from elsewhere.

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