African Volcano Erupts With Impressive Show
November 9, 2011

African Volcano Erupts With Impressive Show

Africa´s most active volcano Nyamuragira, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, erupted last weekend throwing off clouds of ash and orange smoke, AFP reports.

Located in the eastern areas of Virunga National Park, the volcano continues to erupt but was not considered a threat to locals or to the mountain gorillas living in the park, said Congo´s Center for Research and Natural Sciences.

“A fountain of lava, smoke and ash came out of a fissure on the side” of a flat area east of the volcano, said CRNS researcher Dieudonne Wafula. “Ash could be carried some distance by the wind, potentially polluting water and burning crops,” he warned.

Nyamuragira is Africa´s most active volcano with an eruption expected to happen every two to three years roughly. Forty-three confirmed eruptions have occurred between 1865 and 2011.

The last eruption at Nyamuragira began in early January 2010, with lava flowing over 21 miles to the south and southwest of the volcano. The lava flows stayed within the boundaries of Virunga National Park, but the effects of ash and gas emissions were felt in the village of Goma.

Drinking water from open spring and rainwater cachements were contaminated by ash, and residents around the volcano reported deaths of domestic animals and damage to crops. At the time of this report, no damage has been reported from the current eruption.

Image Courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC