9th Dec 2012

The Most Dangerous City in the World

On the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the perilous Nyiragongo volcano towers 3470m over the city of Goma. The wildly erratic volcano is one of the most active on the planet, famous for the violent 200-metre-wide lava lake cradled in its vast summit crater, constantly emitting deadly gases and huge geysers of liquid rock. In 1977 and 2002, the volcano spewed deadly molten rock towards the million inhabitants of Goma, killing hundreds, forcing evacuations and destroying homes—but these were just small disturbances compared to what Nyiragongo is capable of unleashing. The volcano has an intricate ‘plumbing’ system like roots of a tree snaking deep underground, with vents not just at its summit but all around it, and so the threat to Goma is very immediate, and it has been dubbed ‘the most dangerous city in the world’ by researchers. The question is not if the volcano will erupt, but when. And yet, Nyiragongo is one of the least studied volcanoes in the world, because for the past twenty years, the Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced almost constant warfare. A deeper understanding of Nyiragongo must be gained in order to prevent a catastrophe, but serious research has only begun in the past few years. Until we can predict its activity, the question of when? will haunt scientists and seismologists alike, and will determine the fate of nearly one million people.

(Image Credit: Carsten Peter)

This post has 1,640 notes
  1. y0uth0ughtwr0ng666 reblogged this from sciencesoup
  2. suitofcards reblogged this from sciencesoup
  3. letsgroove reblogged this from acalc
  4. acalc reblogged this from worldken
  5. worldken reblogged this from smoot
  6. troopaloop reblogged this from smoot
  7. smoot reblogged this from spherical-harmonics
  8. spherical-harmonics reblogged this from zander-cat
  9. quitebizarre reblogged this from sciencesoup
  10. zander-cat reblogged this from sciencesoup
  11. keikonium reblogged this from sciencesoup
  12. 2sp00ky4me reblogged this from geologyrocks
  13. whenidreamwithlogan reblogged this from sciencesoup
  14. glowing reblogged this from sciencesoup
  15. boundspirit reblogged this from sciencesoup
  16. stillawanderer reblogged this from sagansense
  17. deliriacommedia reblogged this from sciencesoup
  18. sagebreed reblogged this from sciencesoup
  19. redmagus77 reblogged this from sciencesoup and added:
    A member of the expedition walks on the caldera’s cooled lava floor, turned red by the reflected glow of the lake. “Down...
  20. izzytakesonoz reblogged this from sciencesoup
  21. brarf reblogged this from sciencesoup
  22. stickyhunterswhatcha reblogged this from somethingcrowbars
  23. somethingcrowbars reblogged this from raintalker
  24. raintalker reblogged this from kawaiis26
  25. kawaiis26 reblogged this from geologyrocks