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Congo volcano erupts

KIGALI, Rwanda -- A volcano in Congo has erupted throwing molten rock towards an airport and a United Nations base at Goma town.

U.N. aid workers said lava flows had already burned several houses on Nyiragongo's slopes, and residents in Goma -- six miles away -- were ready to evacuate if necessary.

The 11,500-foot volcano is one of several on the Rwanda-Democratic Republic of Congo-Uganda borders, an area of tropical rain forest and rare mountain gorillas.

Only two are active -- Nyamuragira, which erupted early last year, causing no casualties, and Nyiragongo.

One aid worker in Goma said he had been told the lava was moving at about two to three yards a minute.

"There's some houses burning in villages near the volcano," said Walter Stocker of the International Committee of the Red Cross. "There are big lava flows in different directions.

"But most people got out. There are no reports of injured or killed yet, but I can see a cloud of smoke hanging in the air."

A U.N. spokesman in Kinshasa said staff were being moved.




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