GOMA, Congo (AP) — Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo erupted for the primary time in practically 20 years Saturday, turning the evening sky a fiery pink and sending lava onto a serious freeway as panicked residents tried to flee Goma, a metropolis of practically 2 million.

There was no quick phrase on any casualties, however witnesses stated that lava already had engulfed a freeway that connects Goma with the town of Beni in North Kivu province.

Mount Nyiragongo’s final eruption, in 2002, left a whole lot lifeless and coated airport runways in lava. Greater than 100,000 individuals have been left homeless within the aftermath, including to the worry in Goma on Saturday evening.

“We’re already in a complete psychosis,” Zacharie Paluku, a resident, instructed The Related Press. “Everyone seems to be afraid; individuals are operating away. We actually don’t know what to do.”

The federal government stated it was placing an evacuation plan into place, however the announcement was made a number of hours after the sky turned a fiery pink, and lots of already had fled on foot in hopes of crossing the Rwandan border publish simply outdoors city. Automobile horns honked and motorbike taxis weaved as individuals tried to flee in panic.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission recognized tweeted dramatic footage of the town lit by the volcano’s glow, saying it was conducting reconnaissance flights over the town the place it maintains a big base.

“The lava doesn’t appear to be headed towards the town of Goma. We stay on alert,” it stated.

Some sought refuge aboard boats on Lake Kivu, whereas others fled to Mount Goma, the very best level within the metropolitan space. Dorcas Mbulayi left her residence about an hour after the volcano first confirmed indicators of erupting.

“We have been consuming when a buddy of father’s known as him on the cellphone and instructed him to go and look outdoors,” stated Mr. Mbulayi, who was nonetheless a toddler the final time the volcano erupted. “Dad instructed us that the volcano was erupting and that we have been going to go to Mount Goma to flee the lava of the volcano.”

She additionally blamed authorities “for not informing us in time concerning the potential volcanic eruption.”

The dearth of quick bulletins from authorities and conflicting accounts circulating on social media solely added to the sense of chaos in Goma.

Authorities on the Goma Volcano Observatory initially stated it was the close by Nyamulagira volcano that had erupted. The 2 volcanos are positioned about 8.1 miles aside.

Charles Balagizi, a volcanologist, stated the observatory’s report was primarily based on the course during which the lava seemed to be flowing, which was towards Rwanda fairly than Goma.