People flee as DR Congo volcano erupts

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Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupts over Goma

The volcano last erupted in 2002, killing 250 people

A large volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo has erupted, sending panicked residents of the nearby city of Goma fleeing to safety.

Mount Nyiragongo is throwing high lava fountains into the air, the red fumes spewing into the night sky.

Electricity was out in parts of Goma, but a volcanologist said the city did not appear to be in danger.

The volcano last erupted in 2002, killing 250 people and making 120,000 homeless after lava flowed into Goma.

One resident, Carine Mbala, told the AFP news agency: “There is a smell of sulphur. In the distance you can see giant flames coming out of the mountain.”

Volcanologist Dario Tedesco told Reuters that Goma, which has a population of two million, did not appear to be in danger.

Congolese residents of Goma flee from Mount Nyiragongo volcano as it erupts over Goma

A volcanologist said the city did not appear to be in danger

Congolese residents of Goma flee from Mount Nyiragongo volcano as it erupts over Goma

A government spokesman urged the population to stay calm

Goma residents are seen leaving the city following a sudden activity of the Nyiragongo volcano

Many residents have fled the town towards the border with neighbouring Rwanda

On Twitter, government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said the government was “closely monitoring” the situation, urging the population to stay calm.

People have been advised to evacuate towards the town of Sake.

A video posted to Twitter by The New Times in Rwanda showed the eruption from the town of Rubavu, near the border with Rwanda.

Others have been posting videos of lava spewing out of the volcano, which recorded its deadliest eruption in 1977, when more than 600 people died.

The Goma Volcano Observatory has been struggling to monitor Mount Nyiragongo since the World Bank cut funding amid allegations of corruption.

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