When Nyiragongo, one of the region’s most active volcanos, last erupted in 2002, did the lava flow displace hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and businesses and covered a major part of the city of Goma, including sections of the airport and in particular of the runway, making flight operations initially almost impossible.
Mount Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3470 m (11382 ft) in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Albertine Rift. It is located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 20 km (12 mi) north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda
Scientists attached to the Goma Observatory have now raised the threat level of the volcano, after a major internal lava spill which drained the rising main lava lake to a secondary lava lake on the eastern side of the mountain.
While the scientists also calmed the nerves of residents, saying they do not expect an imminent eruption, is caution now nevertheless counseled and the authorities have reportedly taken steps to dust evacuation plans and establish evacuation routes, should another eruption take place.
Nyiragongo has become a tourism attraction in its own right over the past years with adventure operators offering hikes to the crater rim and even overnight stays near the peak and they in particular will be wary now of any further signs of volcanic or seismic activity which could put their intrepid clients at risk.