At least 5,000 people now homeless in DR Congo after volcano eruption

This aerial view shows debris engulfing buildings in Bushara village, Nyiragongo area, near Goma, on May 23, 2021, after a volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, that sent thousands fleeing during the night in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. - A river of boiling lava from the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo has came to a halt outside Goma, sparing the city in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the military governor of the region said on May 23, 2021. Five people were killed in related accidents. (Photo by Justin KATUMWA / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN KATUMWA/AFP via Getty Images)

Humanitarian groups now estimate that as many as 2,500 homes were destroyed following the Mount Nyiragongo volcano eruption in eastern DR Congo on Saturday.

AFP reports that Molten lava destroyed between 900 and 2,500 dwellings, said Raphael Tenaud, deputy head of an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation, adding that this meant at least 5,000 people were now homeless.

On its part, a DRC government delegation is carrying out a mission to assess the extent of the damage following the volcano eruption.

The government delegation led by the military governor, visited the road connecting Goma to Kibumba damaged by the lava flow. The road has been invaded by lava over 1,700 metres.

“On site, arrangements have already been made for the work to begin in the coming hours in order to restore the fluidity of traffic.” Part of the statement by DRC’s ministry of communication and media read.

The government also announced that the death toll rose from 15 to 31.

“The process of identifying the bodies continues. The remains already identified will be handed over to their respective families on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.”

Residents have been asked to avoid walking on the lava which still gives off in some places, a thick smoke, a strong heat and fire.

In several places, seismic movements caused cracks during the day. As a result, provincial authorities asked the population living in the red zone not to return to their homes and to respect the instructions of the evacuation plan.

The Government has also maintained its decision to close Goma airport.