Signs of Eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in 2016; All volcanoes display different signs of eruption and the biggest case scenario is earthquakes and tremors in the region due to an increase in seismic activity. Some of the Signs of Eruption is that there could also be dark fumes coming out of the volcano that is known as the volcanic gases which are pushed into the air forming the dark fumes. This ash that is released into the air from the volcano is due to the extra pressure exerted in the volcano so some is pushed out.
Volcanologists usually predict these eruptions and be ready for them using their special equipment, analyzing the volcanic history of the mountain, setting up proper instruments that they use to monitor the volcanic activity of the mountain. These Signs of Eruption can be seen or felt a few weeks or months to the eruption.
In Feb 2016, Mount Nyiragongo showed signs of an imminent eruption following its last eruption in 2002. Mount Nyiragongo is one of the 8 Volcanic mountains in the Virunga Massif. According to a few sources, signs of eruption in the near future were getting more visible as of February 2016 where the mountain was seen releasing magma accompanied by fumes from one vent to another just a few kilometers apart exploding every 30 seconds spewing the lava up to 80 feet into the air. Some would flow back into the volcano while the rest would cool off into the crater. The informant from Red cross society of Rubavu estimated the amount of gas released to around 5,000 to 50,00 tonnes per day. Also some sources heard an unfamiliar rumbling sound coming from the mountain which was believed to be from the earthquakes from underneath the mountain’s surface. Some rocks crumbled off the walls of the mountain. This brought concern to those staying near this mountain especially in Goma as they feared the 2002 eruption of nyiragongo scenario would repeat itself killing many and destroying so much property.
Aircrafts were advised against flying over that airspace to avoid engine damage and the locals were advised not to use rain water for their food as it was contaminated and could be harmful to their health.
The mountain is closely monitored by Rwanda’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee affairs but has not yet erupted till date today. Since 2002 where we witnessed the last Nyiragongo eruption, this mountain has stayed active but not erupted however there are contingency plans like escape routes that have been put in place in case of an eruption. On your visit to this mountain, you are able to see the red lava in the crater proving its activity.