Written by Ananya Chakraborti, a grade 9 student
Mount Nyiragongo has erupted, after 19 years, killing 32 people and leaving many as refugees. It last erupted in 2002 and caused widespread devastation.
What are volcanoes?
A volcano is like a chimney that connects magma in the earth’s crust to the earth’s surface. Now, what is magma? Magma is a liquid rock under the earth’s surface and turns into lava when it comes out. Volcanoes are like chalk and cheese, some are like steep mountains (stratovolcanoes), others are like bumps (shield volcanoes) and some are bowled, shaped with a hole (crater or caldera).
Why do volcanoes erupt?
One of the most common causes of eruption is an increase in magnetic force. Deep inside the earth, it is so hot that some rocks melt to form a thick flowing substance called magma. If the density of the magma is less than the zone where it is generated and the surrounding surface the magma reaches the surface and erupts.
Where are the world’s most active volcanoes?
These volcanoes are the most active in the world
Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy)
Erta Ale (Danakil depression, Ethiopia)
Mexico, Central America, Caribbean
Popocatépetl (Central Mexico)
Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan)
Where is the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Congo is in the central, western part of sub-Saharan Africa. While to the south and east of it is the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
What has happened?
Mount Nyiragongo, which is an active volcano, lies in the region of Virunga National Park, Congo (Kinshasa) near the border with Rwanda. Nyiragongo is known for its catastrophic eruptions. The volcano last erupted in 2002 Goma was destroyed, killing 250 people and making 120,000 people refugees. The first eruption was seen on May 22, which led to power cuts and shortage of water supply, banjaxed houses, and schools and cut off roads. Authorities urged people to evacuate the eastern city of Goma after the volcano erupted.
Thousands of people carrying mattresses and all their belongings fled the city. People had to take shelter on the border of Rwanda. The volcanic eruption has killed at least 32 people as people search for their loved ones in there, banjaxed houses. Many people died in car accidents while trying to run while the rest were burnt when lava hit their homes.
On May 23, the situation seemed to be in control. Rehabilitation efforts are likely to take months.
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