On Saturday 22 May around 18.30 UTC, first news of an eruption of the Volcano Nyiragongo, situated in the north of the city of Goma in North Kivu province, started to appear on media websites. Effusive eruption was quickly confirmed, with reports of power cuts, people self-evacuating and crossing the border to Rwanda. The evacuation plan of the city of Goma was activated by the authorities very quickly.
As of today (23/05), it seems that the situation has calmed down and people have been allowed to go back home even so, some seismic activities are still on-going and the potential threats caused by volcanic gas (SO2 and CO2) are not fully averted. A main road north of Goma (N2) has been cut by the lava flows and may have a significant impact on movements towards north.
The extent of the damages are not yet known and are being assessed for the time-being. The European Union, including its humanitarian team based in Goma, is following very closely the situation.
The European Commission's emergency mapping service Copernicus (EMSR513) was activated on 22 May to support the damage assessment. First maps are expected in the evening of 23 May.
Nyiragongo's last eruption in 2002 killed 250 people and left 120,000 homeless. It is one of the world's most active volcanoes and is considered among the most dangerous.