Mount Nyiragongo eruption
Mount Nyiragongo eruption: Mount Nyiragongo is one of the active volcanic mountains of the world and is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Nyiragongo volcano is located in the Virunga national park that is east of the country. The mountain is has been active since the earlier years of the 18th century up to date today. Mount Nyiragongo receives visitors ascending to the summit on a daily basis and this hike is an overnight hike so you will need to give it 2 days as you plan. Hikes up Nyiragongo start at 8 am in the morning with a brief at the trailhead. Hikes up Nyiragongo are organized by the Virunga National park and a permit costs approximately 400 USD inclusive of a hiking permit, transport to the trailhead from Goma and back to Goma from the trailhead. This also is inclusive of the accommodation at the Nyiragongo summit shelters for the night. The hike up the volcano is about 5 hours with two rest points to refresh and rest a bit arriving at the summit in the early evening hours. While at the summit, the hikers are able to see the active volcano with boiling lava in the crater lake. Mount Nyiragongo stands at 3,470 meters high above sea level.
Mount Nyiragongo recorded the first eruption in 1884 but that was far as records are concerned as there are believed to have been some earlier eruptions. The Mount Nyiragongo has erupted about 34 times in the past since the 1884 eruption. The neighboring active volcano Mount Nyamulagira has also contributed greatly to the volcanic activity in the region. Mount Nyamulagira and Mount Nyiragongo are the ones behind 40% of the volcanic mountain eruptions of Africa. Both volcanoes are located in the Democratic Republic of Congo- Virunga national park. There are four permanent lava lakes but Nyiragongo lava lake is the largest and most active in the world. The Nyiragongo crater is about 2 kilometers wide with the lava lake in the middle. The lava from Mount Nyiragongo is more liquid than the rest that is why it flows further into the Goma town. The lava is majorly composed of alkali rich type volcanic rock and this more liquid lava poses a greater threat to those living around the volcano in case of eruptions. The liquid lava moves at a speed of 60 meters per hour downhill that is approximately 100 kilometers per hour covering large portions of land. This is major because of the low silicia content in the lava. The lava from Mount Nyiragongo in the past eruptions has flowed all the way to the lake Kivu, Goma city up to the Goma international airport.
The Mount Nyiragongo has erupted in the years of 1884,1894,1898,1900,1977,1982,1994 to 1996 and 2002 in May which was the last year there was an active eruption at the volcano. The volcano a few years later in 2010 showed some signs of an eruption but it did not happen until date today in 2020. After the 1994 eruption, a crater lake was formed and currently, there is a new crater lake that was formed next to it after the 2002 eruption. Some of these past eruptions happened for a longer period of months and others just a few days. The eruption of 1977 emptied the lava lake in under an hour as the lava flowed downhill 60 km/h flowing west, north, and south of the Nyiragongo volcano.
This has been the fastest recorded lava flow from this mountain and this was the eruption that raised awareness for the threat the volcano poses to the community living around the place. This volcano created a smaller new volcano near the slopes of Mount Nyamulagira called Murara.
The 2002 eruption of Mount Nyiragongo started on the 17th of January 2020 at about 08:25 am. It is said to have been caused by tectonic plates near Lake Kivu fracturing and the constant seismic activity in the region. A 13-kilometer long fissure in the south of the volcano opened and released the lava flowing out to the Goma town and the outskirts from up the volcano of about 2800 meters downhill. The 2002 Nyiragongo eruption was expected and the people living around the Mount were asked to vacate the place to the nearby country Rwanda. The lava from mount Nyiragongo during this eruption flowed and destroyed part of the Goma International airport destroyed up to 4,500 buildings, killed livestock and claimed up to 245 people which was about 15% of Goma at that time. After the eruption ended and people were settling back into their day to day activities, the volcano showed another possible eruption 6 months later but did not erupt. Earthquakes were a constant in the areas of Goma and neighboring Gisenyi town. There was a strong sulfur scent that followed the 2002 eruption. This eruption lasted less than 12 hours and is said to have stopped in the night hours of the 17th of January that year.
Another scare happened in 2010 but until date today, there haven’t been active eruptions but you can see the active lava on your visit to the volcano. Check out our Nyiragongo packages and let us arrange for you your visit to this world wonde