"The city of Goma extends from south to north in direction of the Nyragongo volcano," said to the press Murongoni Mony, communications officer of the Goma Volcano Observatory, on Thursday, August 30, 2012 during an information session at the observatory in Goma. "This is a serious problem when the Nyragongo volcano will be in eruption," he said.
He said that "during the last eruption of Nyragongo in 2002, the city of Goma had only 400,000 inhabitants. In 2009, Goma had 1,000,000 inhabitants and in 2012, the city has already surpassed 1,200,000 inhabitants, many of which are found near the volcano. "
"The observatory educates the public and the authorities on the danger of living near the volcano, but it does not change the behavior of the population. We understand that the population remains attached to his land. Already during the Nyragongo volcanic eruption of 1977, the late President Mobutu had moved a good portion of the population towards Masisi, but two years later the same people returned to their land. It is the same situation with the volcanic eruption of 2002; the government had moved the population to the west of the city, but people preferred to return near the volcano, "said Mony Murongoni.
"Today, there are more stations selling fuel in Goma than in 2002, said Mony Murongoni, these stations are support of lavas for the destruction."
How to save lives during a volcanic eruption? The Goma Volcano Observatory also sought to answer to this question. Innocent Badriyo, specialist of analysis and prevention risk in volcanic observatory, reported that "after simulation studies on the different routes used by lava of Nyragongo, recommendations were made to the government including to channel them with dikes. The ball is in the government's camp to decide this issue."
According to this expert, the volcano Nyamulagira which is still active represents no danger for Goma population because compared to the city, the volcano Nyamulagira is behind the volcano Nyragongo that, in this situation, protects the city against lava of Nyamulagira. The Nyamulagira lava flow then completely in the Virunga National Park and damage communication channels such as the road from Goma to Masisi.