Glowing steam rises from Nyiragongo volcano (3’470 m) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo at night. In the East is Mount Mikeno (4’437 m), an extinct volcano. The Virunga volcanoes are part of the Albertine Rift Mountains, the western branch of the East African Rift. In the Virunga region, two parts of the African Plate, the Somali Plate and the Nubian Plate, are breaking apart at a rate of 6 to 7 mm annually.

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