The city of Goma is located only few kilometers south of Nyiragongo volcano.
The city of Goma at Lake Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is located just 15 km south of Nyiragongo. Goma was a small town with 50’000 inhabitants when the 1977 Nyiragongo eruption occurred; about 70 people died. At the time of the 2002 eruption about 400’000 people lived in Goma. Today, Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, has a population of 1 million at risk from volcanic eruptions. As Lake Kivu contains large amounts of methane and carbon dioxide, volcano eruptions hold the potential of natural disaster. Goma’s airport is directly at risk, compromising aid via air. Volcanologists at the Goma Volcano Observatory monitor the volcano’s seismic activity but their efforts are hampered by the lack in infrastructure, and vandalism of equipment.