The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is concerned about the risk of a second volcanic eruption in DRC’s Goma as the Military Governor of North Kivu announced a partial evacuation of Goma earlier this morning. Other risks including multiple earthquakes persist, destroying buildings, homes and other infrastructure. Gas emissions, acidic rain and volcanic dust also continue to pose health risks to the population in the affected area. 

Borry Jatta, the DRC Country Director at IRC, says, 

There have been more than 200 tremors in the past 2 days and for residents of Goma, the impact of the eruption is not behind them. The earthquakes as well as the possibility of a new eruption continue to cause alarm as the risk to their lives and homes persist. With at least 500 homes destroyed, many are sleeping outside out of fear of buildings collapsing due to cracks. Widespread fear has led more residents to flee the city, in addition to the 30,000 people who left after the eruption last weekend.  Families have been separated and more than 170 children are still feared missing.” 

“Researchers observing the volcano have a limited sense of the current risk level; the situation remains highly unpredictable as several warning signs emerge of the risk of a new eruption in the next few days, including multiple cracks on the ground, emission of gas and the worrying fact that the Kivu crater seems to have refilled very quickly, indicating another possible eruption. The IRC is preparing a response to meet the escalating humanitarian needs in collaboration with the government and other NGOs. There is now a desperate need for an increase in funding through support from the international community.” 

The IRC has been working in the DRC since 1996 providing emergency assistance and humanitarian aid to those affected by violence and uprooted from their homes. As the country struggles to recover from decades of conflict and widespread disease, the IRC is focusing our efforts in Tanganyika, Kasai Central, and North and South Kivu by providing emergency health care, shelter, water, sanitation, and emergency supplies to hundreds of thousands of people in eastern and central Congo