People in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) woke to more powerful tremors on Saturday morning as fleeing families seeking shelter from a feared second volcanic eruption struggled to find enough food and water.
Dozens of people died when Mount Nyiragongo volcano, one of the world’s most active, roared back into life a week ago, sending rivers of lava spreading towards the nearby city of Goma that destroyed thousands of homes along the way. The lava stopped just short of the city limits, but thousands more people fled on Thursday when the government warned that the volcano could erupt again at any time.
Most people have headed to the town of Sake or the Rwandan border in the northeast, while others have fled by boat across Lake Kivu. Nearly 10,000 people are taking refuge in Bukavu on the lake’s southern bank, according to Governor Theo Ngwabidje, many of them in host families.
In Sake, some 20 kilometres (13 miles) northwest of Goma, people slept wherever they could – on the side of the road and inside classrooms and churches.
Kabuo Asifiwe Muliwavyo, 36, said she and her seven children had not eaten since arriving on Thursday.
“They told us that there will be a second eruption and that there will be a big gas explosion,” she told Reuters news agency as she cradled her crying one-year-old.