20 May 2010

Volcanic landslide in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Posted by Dave Petley

Whilst the Attabad landslide continues to be my major blogging preoccupation at the moment (I’m guessing you might have noticed…), of course other landslides continue to occur around the world.  On16th May a slip happened on Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The reports suggest that 43 people are likely to have been killed, and a further 1,500 directly affected by this slide.

Nyiragongo volcano is active, so this is likely to be a lahar – i.e. a debris flow in volcanic deposits.  This Google Earth image, although of low resolution, suggests that this is not the first failure on the east side of this volvano:

The El Salvador landslides of last year provide a good indication of the nature of a lahar – see previous posts here, here and here.