Lava Lake Rises at Dangerous African Volcano

The city of Goma, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is home to a crater that has a volcano called Nyiragongo. This volcano devastated the area in 2002 by erupting as a result of an earthquake that caused mass casualties. Nyiragongo is an active volcano and lava continues to develop. Goma fears that when the volcano will erupt again, it would endanger the citizens even more.

The Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO) was created in 1986 to oversee the ongoing situation with the status of the volcano. Currently, information has concluded that lava is filing the crater faster than expected and equipment has proved earthquake activity near the volcano. Multiple researchers have been studying the crater. Their goal is to review the history of Nyiragongo and predict when it will erupt again so the city will be more prepared and have an effective plan. The date is still unknown when Nyiragongo will erupt again but it is predicted it will happen in just a couple of years. Yet, each one of the researchers has their own conclusions about when the volcano will explode again. The debate of how exactly Nyiragongo will erupt next consists of the lava overflowing up in the crater until earthquakes allow the lava to burst open or lava amounts staying at a certain level while collecting high-pressure concentrations that cause the rock to rupture.

Another problem being encountered is that GVO faces getting cut off from its financial support. The facility is responsible for managing and dealing with the volcano, as well as evacuation efforts. However, much of their funds are used for maintenance and security. Citizens of Goma still have not fully recovered from the last volcanic eruption and have been forced to thievery and crime. The United Nations have even become concerned and are pondering aiding the facility to help the community.

There still is not a plan of action as of right now, and something needs to be decided soon in order to not recreate past events.

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