LEDC Volcano Case Study: Mt. Nyiragongo

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LEDC Volcanic Eruption Case Study: Mt. Nyiragongo, 2002
When: Erupted on 17th January 2002 in the Demographic Republic of Congo
Location: Located in the African Rift Valley, where the crust is very brittle
Plates: The plates are moving apart and volcanic activity occurs along fault lines, which are weaknesses in the Earth's crust ­ a
constructive/divergent plate boundary
Short term Effects
The town of Goma was most affected by the lava flow, which flowed in a southerly direction
45 people died in the first 24 hours of the eruption ­ killed by roofs crashing down due to the heavy ash, lava flows, and toxic gas
500,000 people were left homeless
2 out of 4 hospitals were destroyed
Long-term effects
The final death toll is likely to be much higher because people could be buried under rubble and only found later, and people could
die from secondary effects of the volcano, e.g. cholera
220,000 homeless refugees crossed into Rwanda
Lots of refugees returned to Goma because there was little food and poor shelter in Rwanda, so they thought they might have a
better chance at returning home
Aid agencies have given bedding, equipment to provide clean water for drinking and sanitation, blankets, tents, food, and cooking
Mt. Nyiragongo showed no signs before erupting, unlike Montserrat.


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