A Crack in the Earth Allows Africa’s Most Active Volcano to Erupt

The Nyamuragira volcano has erupted earlier this week, providing tourists with the chance of lifetime to shoot impressive videos and photography of curtains of lava as it spews forth from a long fracture within the Earth. The Nyamuragira volcano is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo just north of Lake Kivu in the Congo’s Virunga National Park. The volcano is being watched closely by park officials and vulcanologists.

The Nyamuragira volcano has the same gradually sloped structure as the famous volcanoes of Hawaii. These volcanoes are known as shield volcanoes. Shield volcanoes sit upon a weak spot in the Earth’s crust and in some cases, are some of the most active volcano in the world. Fissures and cracks upon up near these weak spots that allow eruptions to occur.

The Nyamuragira volcano erupts about every other year, which places it at the top of the list as one of Africa’s most active volcano. The current eruption is one of the most active ones seen in the past century.

Since the Nyamuragira volcano is remote there is little risk to people living in the area. Since 1885 the volcano has erupted over 40 times, and the local population is well aware of the dangers of living near the volcano. The main threat from the Nyamuragira volcano will be from the wildlife living in the area. There is a population of gorillas and chimpanzees that park officials are monitoring.

Park officials are using the eruption of Africa’s most active volcano as a chance to promote tourism within the park. The large fracture on the face of the Earth is spewing lava along a line over a half mile long and nearly 1500 feet into the air, creating a dramatic curtain of fire that can be viewed from a safe distance. Night time displays of lava spewing forth from the volcanic fracture are making for impressive photographic and video displays.

Wikipedia Nyamuragira

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