North Kivu [Congo], May 23 (ANI/Sputnik): President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tshisekedi en route to the country from Europe to oversee the relief efforts amid the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano.
"President Tshisekedi has decided to interrupt his stay in Europe to return home this Sunday in order to supervise the coordination of aid to populations in areas threatened by this volcanic eruption," a statement, released on the president's official Twitter page, said.
Tshisekedi expressed support for the local populations and is now closely monitoring the security and humanitarian situation in DR Congo's eastern North Kivu province, the presidency said.
North Kivu Governor, Lt. Gen. Ndima Kongba Constant, said in a televised address on Saturday that local civil defense forces started evacuating residents of the city of Goma after the nearby Nyiragongo volcano began to erupt.
Earlier on Saturday, local media reported that the Nyiragongo volcano, located not far from DR Congo's border with Rwanda, had started to erupt. According to the Rwandan RBA broadcaster, the eruption is visible from the Rwandan city of Rubavu, which is located near the border.
Radio Rwanda reported that around 3,000 residents of Goma have already arrived in the neighboring Rwanda, escaping the volcano eruption. Rubavu District authorities are taking emergency measures to provide shelter to the displaced people.
The Mount Nyiragongo active volcano is located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu. It started erupting at 7 p.m. local time on Saturday (17:00 GMT). The last time a major Nyiragongo eruption occurred was in 2002, when around 250 people were killed and 120,000 were left without homes, as lava flows destroyed about 20 percent of Goma. (ANI/Sputnik)