Mount Nyiragongo 2002 eruption case study

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Mount Nyiragongo - lava flows in 2002 (17th
Located on the Kivu part of the Albertine rift, the Western branch
of the Great African rift valley.
It is located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo.
20 km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of
the border with the country of Rwanda.
Fluid eruptions of Basaltic lava = shield volcano
Has erupted at least 34 times since 1882
Crater is 2km wide and contains a lava lake.
`the smoker' in native language
One of the most active volcanoes in the world but
one of the least studied.
3 months of earth quakes and steam/gas eruptions resulted in a 13 km fissure
opening on the south flank of the volcano. Lava exited from 3 points on the
fissure and moved in a stream 200 -1000 m wide and up to 2 m deep
through Goma.
primary secondary
social lava flowed through Death toll eventually reached 147
down town Goma due to the spread of cholera (in
destroyed 14 nearby Rwanda), inhalation of poisonous
villages fumes (CO2) and a petrol station that
killed 45 people in the blew up whilst (over 100) looters
first 24 hours were taking petrol to sell.
roughly 30% of Lake Kivu was a major source of
Goma's infrastructure drinking water
destroyed. ­ 4,500
buildings- effecting

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Poor quality of life lead to excessive
Goma city looting of homes and shops.
2/4 hospitals, 80/150 15% of population without electricity
pharmacies destroyed
Destroyed airport meant aid was
Aprox. 400,000 people
difficult to receive.
fled to Rwanda
escape. No shelter.
120,00 people left homeless
Refugees forced back from Rwanda
Strong emission of
due to gangs and tension with locals
CO2 gas caused many
fatalities.…read more

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USAID provided $25,000 to the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa and
$25,000 to the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda for relief assistance in
USAID worked with NGOs and UN agencies to provide
approximately $5.0 million in assistance
On January 18, USAID deployed an assistance team consisting of
five people to Goma, including a water and sanitation engineer,
a food aid specialist, two emergency disaster relief coordinators
and one regional advisor.…read more

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Long term
Never-the-less, temporary camps grew up in some of the
untouched schools and church compounds- which later had
to be evacuated as a major effort was made to restart
By late February, several thousand people remain at the
Esco camp- a transit camp - located eight km west of Goma.
From February 6 to 15, USAID/OFDA deployed an Urban Planning and Disaster Mitigation
Specialist and a Geoscience Advisor to conduct a shelter and hazard mitigation assessment
in Goma.…read more

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In February, USAID/OFDA provided three seismographs to help predict future
eruptions.…read more


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