21/06/2021

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DRC: power lines rebuilt after Nyiragongo volcano eruption

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Saturday’s volcanic eruption which left tens of thousands of people near Mount Nyiragongo displaced, had more desvastating effects on electricity supply.

Crews from Virunga Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the Virunga Energies company is also located, are rebuilding power lines torn down by lava flow.

“There were two lava flows. This one is the biggest, the first one. It cut off the power to the city of Goma. For us it is a huge problem, not only because it deprives the population of electricity, but also because it is the main source of energy for the water pumping stations in the city.” said Emmanuel de Merode, Director of Virunga National Park.

” The pipes and tanks were covered by lava. So right now, the population is suffering a lot. To get even 20 litres of water, they have to travel more than 20 km.” further stressed Faustin Zabayo, president of the youth of Nyiragongo territory.

DR Congo’s government said Saturday that the eruption of a second volcano it had announced hours earlier was a “false alarm,” the scare coming a week after Mount Nyiragongo roared back into life, causing devastation and sparking a mass exodus.

“We were afraid, the authorities told us to leave the city and go far away because there is a risk that it could explode. That’s why we are leaving the city to go to a place where we will rest a little with the children.” expressed Marc Bahati, Goma resident leaving the city.

Scientists have warned of a potentially catastrophic scenario — a “limnic eruption” which occurs when lava combines with a deep lake and spews out lethal, suffocating gas across a potentially large area.