DR Congo president cuts Europe trip short due to volcanic eruption

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi decided to interrupt his stay in Europe and return home to supervise aid to residents threatened by a volcanic eruption, the presidency announced early Sunday.

Tshisekedi is closely following the security and humanitarian situations in North Kivu following the eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo that began late Saturday, the presidency said in a series of tweets.

The head of state urged authorities to show prudence and solidarity in the face of the natural disaster.

Nyiragongo, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, erupted and forced thousands of residents in North Kivu’s Goma to flee to Rwanda.

The city of Rubavu in Rwanda has received more than 3,500 Congolese seeking refuge from the eruption.

A national contingency plan is in place to ensure safety and humanitarian services, according to the Rwandan ministry in charge of Emergency Management.

The evacuation plan for Goma has been activated. The decision was made during a crisis meeting chaired by DRC Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, according to government spokesman Patrick Muyaya.

At least 250 people were killed when Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002 and 120,000 were left homeless after lava flowed into Goma.

Source: Anadolu Agency