No eruption at Mikeno in the Congo

Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Following up on a report earlier this week claiming that an eruption of Mikeno produced an avalanche that killed dozens, it appears that those reports were false. Current news claims that an overflowing river on Nyiragongo in the Congo produced an avalanche on the slopes of the volcano. This avalanche killed 46 people and have wiped out at least 200 homes and UN Peacekeepers in the Congo have been helping with the recovery from the avalanche. So, it seems that the landslide was caused by heavy rains rather than any sort of volcanic eruption. Nyamuragira, next door to Nyiragongo, erupted earlier this year and both volcanoes are very active.

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Good evening. I am glad the gorillas are safe for now.

While people are enthralled at the on going eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, and some are concerned about the small possibility of Katla erupting and themuch, much smaller possibility of some catastrophe resulting, it is important to keep in mind volcanoes such as Nyiragongo. Due to a combination of factors (frequent activity, very fluid lava in a lava lake on a steep sided volcano, possible fissure eruptions on the flanks and a densely populated area in the path of both) the potential of a real catastrophe in the area is quite high. Just something for the world to keep in mind when it moans over delayed air traffic.

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