Prisoners among casualties as DRC volcanic eruption deaths revealed
At least 15 people have been killed after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo volcano on Saturday night in the north-eastern province of North Kivu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the DRC authorities.
Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said that 15 people were killed while fleeing the threats of lava.
Nine people were killed in a truck rollover accident while four victims were prisoners trying to break the Munzenze central prison in Goma, the spokesman said, adding that two more people were burned to death on Sunday morning.
The DRC authorities have not yet released the assessed collateral damage caused by the eruption. Muyaya still urged residents to avoid non-essential activities while seismic activity in the area could still cause damage.
Helicopters of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC made constant reconnaissance flights after the eruption over the crater to closely monitor the situation.
According to local authorities, the lava flow came to a stop at around 4 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Sunday morning on the outskirts of Goma, while local residents started returning to their homes in abandoned neighborhoods overnight.