Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo erupted for the first time in nearly two decades Saturday. The night sky was turn into fiery red and lava oozing out onto a major highway led to panicked residents tried to flee Goma, a city of nearly 2 million.
No evacuation order was given by authorities, and there was no immediate word on any casualties. The Lava already had engulfed one highway that connects Goma with the city of Beni in North Kivu province. Mount Nyiragongo's last eruption, in 2002, left hundreds dead and coated airport runways in lava.
Goma is home to many UN peacekeepers and aid workers. The UN peacekeeping mission known as MONUSCO tweeted the footage of volcano, saying it was conducting reconnaissance flights over the city where it maintains a large base.
Thousands were seen fleeing, many on foot, toward the border with Rwanda just beyond the city. People attempted to escape in panic by car, bus or motorcycle. Others fled to Mount Goma, the highest point in the metropolitan area.
The problem is with the lack of immediate announcements from authorities and contradictory accounts circulating on social media led to panic in Goma.
Authorities at the Goma Volcano Observatory initially said it was the nearby Nyamulagira volcano that had erupted. The two volcanos are located about 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) apart. The volcano erupting is also close the Virunga National Park, home to some of the last mountain gorillas in the world.