Volcano erupts in Democratic Republic of Congo

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May 22 (UPI) — Mount Nyiragongo, the volcano in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, started to erupt Saturday.

Residents of the nearby city of Goma were asked to evacuate late Saturday as the government began discussing emergency measures, according to a Twitter post from DRC government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya.

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The volcano is one of the largest in the world. Its last large eruption of the volcano took place in 2002 and killed 250 people, CNN reported.

The volcano began erupting at around 7 p.m. local time.

Initially the government chose not to order evacuations and urged calm as the scale of the eruption was not clear, but officials said the situation was unpredictable.

Tom Peyre-Costa, Norwegian Refugee Council spokesman for West and Central Africa, told CNN the lava was not flowing toward the city, but that if it changed direction, residents would have to evacuate to Rwanda.

Power was later cut off in the area as hundreds of residents began to evacuate toward the nearby border with Rwanda, The Guardian reported.