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Joint communication from Kigali: The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo

20-01-2002 News Release

   

 Copyright German Red Cross / International Federation of the Red Cross  

 

 Joint communication from the Rwandan Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross  

    

Kigali – The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo on 17 January, which destroyed large sections of the town of Goma, in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has forced many inhabitants to flee. Most have taken refuge across the border in Gisenyi, Rwanda.

Working together, the Rwandan Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, with the support of the German, French, Belgian and Spanish Red Cross Societies, are striving to assist the victims of this natural disaster.

Within 24 hours of the tragedy, Red Cross workers in Rwanda had already brought in to Gisenyi three tanker trucks, a water-purification unit, six water storage tanks and 1,000 jerrycans. Meanwhile, surveys were undertaken to evaluate the situation and determine the population's basic needs.

In close cooperation with the authorities, Rwandan Red Cross volunteers are currently seeing to the distribution of water. The Red Cross is ready to distribute food rations provided by the World Food Programme and to bring in additional tanker trucks and emergency items such as blankets, tents, tarpaulins, kitchen utensils, jerrycans, medical supplies, water storage tanks, water-purification units and disinfectant, as soon as the authorities have decided on drop-off points.

On 20 January, peo ple began returning to Goma despite the threat that Mount Nyiragongo still poses in the region. The Red Cross is currently prepared to cover the basic needs of some 100,000 people at short notice. Specialized Red Cross teams are continuing to evaluate the situation in the areas affected by the disaster, working closely with United Nations officials.