Mount Nyiragongo has erupted in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, spewing lava onto a major highway and prompting thousands to flee, according to media reports.
It wasn’t immediately clear if any residents were killed or injured.
The United Nations’ peacekeeping operation in the area, MONUSCO, posted helicopter footage and wrote in French that the lava doesn’t appear to be heading directly towards the city of Goma, but that they “remain on alert.”
🚨🚨Activité volcanique aux alentours de Goma: la MONUSCO fait des vols de reconnaissance.
La lave ne semble pas se diriger vers la ville de Goma. Nous restons en alerte. pic.twitter.com/JQmz7v16Ne
— MONUSCO (@MONUSCO) May 22, 2021
Reuters reported that thousands of residents in the cities of Goma fled, some grabbing mattresses and other belongings.
The last time Mount Nyiragongo erupted was in 2002, killing 250 people and leaving 120,000 homeless, according to Reuters.
The Congolese government told the Associated Press it was enacting an evacuation plan, but the outlet reported the announcement came long after the eruption began and many had already begun to flee across the Rwandan border.