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Monday, 21 January, 2002, 14:20 GMT
Volcano devastates town in DR Congo
Mount Nyiragongo
Hundreds of people are feared dead after a violent volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo. BBC News Online charts the natural disaster as it unfolds.


22 January: Aid heads to stricken Goma

Women waiting for aid
Women waiting for aid

International agencies rethink their plans and start helping people in eastern DR Congo despite safety concerns after the volcanic eruption. Reports say lava is being cleared from roads to allow aid trucks in.

 The BBC's Andrew Harding reports



21 January: Petrol station blast 'kills 50'

Thick black smoke and flames fill the sky
Thick black smoke and flames fill the sky

Lava flows from the eruption ignite a petrol station in Goma, killing about 50 people who were trying to siphon fuel from the elevated tanks. People at the petrol station were using plastic containers to retrieve the fuel and carry it back when the explosion took place.

 The BBC's Andrew Burroughs reports


20 January: Cholera fears for victims

Lava flows into Lake Kivu polluting the water
Lava flows into Lake Kivu polluting the water

Concern grows for the people of Goma as both water treatment plants in the town are destroyed by lava, leaving a serious shortage of drinking water. UN officials are particularly worried that people have been drinking contaminated water from Lake Kivu which could cause a cholera outbreak.

 The BBC's Peter Biles reports


19 January: People return to assess damage

People struggle to return home
People struggle to return home

Hundreds risk death to return to their homes in Goma. Locals scramble over the smouldering landscape, laden with belongings, hoping to find their homes still habitable. Quietly, resiliently, Goma gets on with the usual hard business of survival.

 The BBC's Andrew Harding reports


18 January: Lava flow devastates Goma

Lava engulfs the town of Goma
Lava engulfs the town of Goma

A river of molten rock pours through the town of Goma, killing dozens. Hundreds of thousands of people are forced to flee into neighbouring Rwanda, where authorities struggle to cope with the influx.

 The BBC's Andrew Harding reports


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Congo volcano
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See also:

21 Jan 02 | UK Politics
Straw visits volcano-hit Congo
21 Jan 02 | Africa
In pictures: Eruption aftermath
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