Health fears as killer DR Congo volcano spouts ash

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TOPSHOT - Smoldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 23, 2021 following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. - Thousands have fled a volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo with lava from Mount Nyiragongo reaching Goma city early Sunday. Even before the official announcement, people had started filling the streets and carrying what they could as they headed out of the city, where the last major eruption killed 100 people. (Photo by Moses Sawasawa / AFP) (Photo by MOSES SAWASAWA/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT – Smoldering ashes are seen early morning in Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 23, 2021 following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. (Photo by MOSES SAWASAWA/AFP via Getty Images)

The DR Congo’s Nyiragongo volcano has released large amounts of ash some two months after its eruption, sparking concerns for local residents’ health, experts said on Sunday.

The volcano in the far east of the vast central African country first erupted on May 22, claiming 32 lives and destroying hundreds of homes.

“The ash is the result of the collapse of part of the Nyirangongo’s central crater,” vulcanologist Muhindo Syavulisembo said in a statement.

Syavulisembo, who heads the Goma Vulcanology Observatory (OVG), however, ruled out an imminent new eruption.

“There hasn’t been visible damage, but we fear respiratory and water-borne illnesses,” Samson Buunda, a local civil society representative, told AFP.

The eruption of Africa’s most active volcano displaced nearly 400,000 people, especially after May 27 when scientists warned of a potentially catastrophic blast underneath nearby Lake Kivu.

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