Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nyiragongo Volcano, Democratic Republic of Congo - John Seach

Travel to Nyiragongo is currently not possible due to the worsening security situation. The United Nations says a "catastrophic" humanitarian crisis is being created in the area around Goma. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the rebels' four-day offensive was "creating a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic
dimensions and threatens dire consequences on a regional scale." Rebels advanced on the eastern Congolese city of Goma on Wednesday, scattering civilians
and soldiers and threatening to overwhelm a 17,000-strong U.N. force trying to halt a return to all-out war. Fierce fighting since the Tutsi rebels launched their latest offensive on Sunday displaced tens of thousands of civilians in North Kivu province, which has seen continuous violence despite the end of Congo's regional war in 2003. The head of the U.N. force, MONUC, says it is "stretched to the limit", but a request to the U.N. Security Council for reinforcements has not yet been met. Civilians attacked the U.N. mission's headquarters near the airport, forcing the evacuation of most staff to a compound on the shore of Lake Kivu, nearer the Rwandan border. John Seach climbed Nyiragongo volcano in August 2008, and filmed the active lava lake. It is likely that access to Nyiragongo volcano will not be possible for some time into the future. Nyiragongo is one of the world's most impressive volcanoes. It is noted for the long active lava lake which is regularly occurs in the summit crater. In 2002 a large eruption of Nyiragongo volcano partially buried the town of Goma and forced the evacuation of 400,000 people.
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