Climb Mount Nyiragongo Volcano
About Mountain Nyiragongo
This is an active stratovolcano which has an elevation of about 3470m with in Virunga Mountains and is greatly connected with Virunga Albertine rift valley. This volcano is located within the Democratic Republic of Congo inside Virunga National Park. It’s also located 20km north of the town of Goma as well as Lake Kivu. Mount Nyiragongo Volcano It has a crater which is two kilometers wide and also contains a lave lake. This lake which is located in the crater has got two different cooled lava benches in the crater walls. One of the lava benches is about 3,175m and another one is about 2,975m. The Nyiragongo Mountain and the Nyamuragira are responsible for about 40% of historical volcanic eruptions in Africa.
Geology of Nyiragongo
Since 1882, the volcano has erupted at least 34 times, including times when the eruptions were continuous for almost a year. This volcano also erupts with other two older volcanoes known as Shaheru and Baratu; these are also surrounded by many other small volcanic cinder cones from the frank eruptions. The lava erupted is usually of fluid state and it’s made of melilite Nephelinite. This lava flow however poses no harm to human life due to low silica content inside it. The lava lake on the volcanic mountain is about 60 feet high and is in a broad steep sided cinder cone which was created on the crater floor.
About Nyiragongo Eruptions
There have been many eruptions that have taken place around the Nyiragongo volcanic mountains and these include; the 1977 eruption, this happened when the crater walls of the volcano fractured which led to the draining of the lava lake within an hour. This led to the flooding of the lava down on the flanks of the volcano and on the upper slopes which resulted into killing over seventy (70) people in the nearby villages. This 1977 eruption that took place tried to raise awareness about the dangers of this volcano and it also created a new small volcano called Murara which is a few kilometers away from Nyamuragira.
The second eruption took place in 2002, this happened after several processes of Fumarolic and seismic activities which happened on this volcano. There was a fissure that opened in the southern flank and was about 13km spreading from about 2800m to 1550m of elevation hence reaching the town of Goma which is the capital along the northern shores of Lake Kivu. The lava greatly streamed towards the city of Goma, however over 400000 people had been evacuated from the city to the border of Rwanda in Gisenyi town. Lave run and covered Goma airport raising threat that it might release larger amounts of carbon dioxide as well as methane. This 2002 eruption killed about 147 people and the city of Goma collapsed due to the building falling apart leaving over 120000 people without homes. More building in the city of Goma continued to fall due to the massive earth quake that continued to happen for almost 3 months after the eruptions.
The ongoing threats of mountain Nyiragongo include the carbon dioxide that killed many children up to the recent times. Also in places where the gas from the under grounds dispersing in the wind has got many deadly effects to the lives of the people. Just recently on 8th march 2016, the Goma observatory discovered yet another vent which opened at the northeast side of the crater, there is a possibility that this could bring yet another eruption in Goma town.
Source: Official, www.nyiragongo.org