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Report on Nyamulagira (DR Congo) — 7 March-13 March 2001


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
7 March-13 March 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Nyamulagira (DR Congo). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 7 March-13 March 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (7 March-13 March 2001)


DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The eruption at Nyamuragira that began on 5 February continued, with lava flows mainly travelling down the S flank of the volcano. The UN Integrated Regional Information Network reported on 27 February that a UN-government assessment team that visited the town of Goma, ~40 km S of the volcano, determined that ash and lava from the eruption had damaged agriculture and livestock. The team warned that there was an urgent need for food, medicine, and vegetable seeds in the affected areas of Goma, Kitshanga, and Kalungu. According to the Goma Volcanological Observatory, a new eruption began on 2 March with eruptive activity concentrated mainly on the S flank. The Observatory stated that wind had blown ash towards the W and ash fall had destroyed ~50 km2 of pasture and 150 km2 of crops up to 30 km from the volcano in the towns of Rusaya, Kirolirwe, Burungu, Minova, the Masisi territory, and the S part of Kichanga. Ash and gas from the eruption have caused many people in those areas and Goma to experience fever, diarrhea, headache, conjunctivitis, and respiratory problems.

Geological Summary. Africa's most active volcano, Nyamulagira (also known as Nyamuragira), is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield about 25 km N of Lake Kivu and 15 km NE of the steep-sided Nyiragongo volcano. The summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Documented eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, as well as from the numerous flank fissures and cinder cones. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Recent lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit as far as Lake Kivu; extensive lava flows from this volcano have covered 1,500 km2 of the western branch of the East African Rift.

Sources: IRIN News, Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG), Reuters