Series of earthquakes on DR Congo-Rwanda border stoke fears of second volcanic eruption

NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - 2016/05/20: The lava lake seen from the top of the main crater of Mount Nyiragongo. The Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3,470 metres in the Virunga National Park, about 20 km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu. The Virunga park, created in 1925 under the name of Albert National Park, has a 7,800 km2 superficy and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park employs around 500 rangers who fight against poachers and illegal charcoal producers. (Photo by Thierry Falise/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A series of earthquakes on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda have stoked fears that the Nyiragongo volcano close to the area would erupt again three days after the first eruption.

FILE PHOTO: A lava lake seen from the top of the main crater of Mount Nyiragongo. The Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3,470 metres in the Virunga National Park, about 20 km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu. (Photo by Thierry Falise/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The volcano started to erupt on Saturday, spewing lava that headed towards the border with Rwanda, and stopped on Sunday morning, leaving dozens of people killed and thousands displaced.

Here is a timeline of the Nyiragongo volcano eruption:

May 26:

— An earthquake on the border of Congo and Rwanda on Tuesday — measured 5.3 magnitude by the Rwandan Seismic Monitor and the strongest of more than 100 tremors that have followed Saturday’s eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano — destroyed several buildings in the DR Congo’s eastern city of Goma.

— A series of earthquakes hit western Rwanda’s Rubavu district that borders eastern DR Congo, following the Nyiragongo volcano’s eruption on Saturday, causing major cracks in residential and commercial houses, schools and several murram and tarmac roads, Gilbert Habyarimana, mayor of Rwanda’s Rubavu district, told Xinhua.

May 25:

— The death toll linked to the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo volcano in the northeastern province of North Kivu of the DR Congo rose to 32 and is likely to further rise, the DR Congo authorities said.

— Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the loss of life saddened the UN chief and that Guterres expressed his deepest sympathies to the government and people of the DR Congo.

May 24:

— DR Congo Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said 15 people were killed while fleeing the threats of lava.

— Rwanda’s Emergency Management Ministry said thousands of residents from the DR Congo seeking refuge in Rwanda were on their way back home.

May 23:

— A lava flow reached the airport of the DR Congo’s eastern city of Goma after the eruption of the nearby Mount Nyiragongo volcano. Authorities announced evacuation plans.

— Around 3,000 people fled Goma for neighboring Rwanda as the city was illuminated with orange flames.

— Gilbert Habyarimana, mayor of Rwanda’s Rubavu district, which borders eastern DR Congo, called upon its residents to stay calm.

— The lava flow stopped at around 4 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on the outskirts of Goma,

— Habyarimana said residents who fled to Rwanda started returning home while some were still in Rwanda.

May 22:

— The Nyiragongo volcano burst into activity at around 7 p.m. local time (1800 GMT).