DR Congo: More than 170 children fear missing after volcanic eruption in Goma |
The sky turned red and lava erupted from the volcano on Saturday, causing thousands to flee the city of two million people, located just to the south. Reports indicate that up to five people may have died during the evacuation, and some houses were reportedly lost in northern Goma.
More than 150 children have been separated from their families and more than 170 children are expected to be missing as people fled the city of Goma following a massive volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
– UNICEF (@UNICEF) May 23, 2021
UNICEF said more than 150 children have been separated from their families and more than 170 are believed to be missing.
More than 5,000 people crossed the Rwandan border from Goma as slow lava spat, and at least 25,000 were displaced in Sake, 25 kilometers northwest of Goma, the agency said.
“However, most people are slowly returning home since the lava stopped flowing this morning,” according to the press release, noting that hundreds of people are returning to find damaged homes and that the water supply and electricity is severely disrupted.
It is not yet known how many households were affected by the eruption, UNICEF said. Dozens of children in the area near Goma airport were left homeless and without resources.
A UNICEF team has been deployed to the affected areas of Sake, Buhene, Kibati and Kibumba to provide a frontline response, which includes installing chlorination water points in and around Sake to limit the spread. cholera.
The agency is stepping up surveillance for the deadly water-borne disease, especially in Goma itself, after residents return.
Two transit centers are being created for unaccompanied and separated children, in close collaboration with the Congolese authorities.
UNICEF said it will work with its partners to refer any cases of gender-based violence or abuse, to provide adequate medical and psychosocial support.
MONUSCO “ closely monitors ”
The UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, MONUSCO, tweeted earlier Sunday that mission helicopters had carried out reconnaissance flights over the crater, including Sunday morning, and that it ” was closely monitoring the situation ”.
During the last eruption of Nyiragongo in 2002, more than 100,000 people were left homeless and around 250 people were reportedly killed. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and the deadliest eruption in the lava lake is believed to have killed more than 600 people in 1977.