Mountain Nyiragongo in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is an active volcano which last erupted in 2002. Its lava lake is most known for its volcanic activity in the recent times. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably.
A maximum elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3,250 m (10,660 ft) prior to the January 1977 eruption – a lake depth of about 600 m (2,000 ft). Here are some of the other facts you may need to know about this mountain.
It Has Erupted 34 Times
It is not fully know how many times this mountain has erupted but since the year 1882, this volcano has erupted about 34 times. This includes the times when the eruptions were continuous for a long time in a year, often in the form of a churning lava lake in the crater.
Hard for Trekkers to Reach
It’s hidden in the depths of Mount Nyiragongo and hikers must trek up to an altitude of about 11,400ft (3.47km) to catch a glimpse of the lava lake.
Mount Nyiragongo is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, erupting on average every 30 years.
Lava Shot Down the Mountain at 60mph in 1977
In 1977, the walls of the lava lake were cracked and the lava was drained in less than an hour. Its fell down the slopes of the volcano at about 60 miles per hour and went into the nearby villages killing over 70 people. The hazards posed by eruptions like this are unique to Nyiragongo.
Carbon Dioxide Toxicity
Localized carbon dioxide toxicity, known locally as ‘mazuku’, has killed children even more recently. In locations where the gas seeps from the ground in relatively high levels, without the dispersing effects of wind, its effects can be deadly.
Just after six months of the 2002 eruption, this volcano erupted again. The volcanic activity at this mountain is still going on but still only in the crater. Another crater lake has been formed a few meters the one formed in 1994.