Thousands flee as Congo's Mount Nyiragongo erupts

A volcanic eruption near Democratic Republic of Congo's main city appeared to have halted on Sunday (May 23) morning after raging through local villages.

Video footage showed a smoking trail of lava pouring down on Saturday nightas the nearby Mount Nyiragongo erupted.

Thousands fled with their belongings on foot, some towards the nearby border with Rwanda.

This man, from a local village, says he woke up and saw the red sky and lava. He, along with other residents fled and are looking for shelter in Goma.

As the sun rose on Sunday, much of the hillside to the north of the town was burned black and houses had been demolished.

The sky was again a cloudy gray.

Lava crossed a main road out of Goma, cutting if off from cities to the north.

Traffic was in gridlock in most places as people tried to leave or return to assess the damage to their homes.

This local resident, who did not give his name, said the government must figure out how to reopen this road so that residents can travel between Goman and Rwanda.

Saturday's eruption appears to have been caused when fractures opened in the volcano's side, causing lava flows in various directions.

Nyiragongo's previous eruption in 2002 killed 250 people and left 120,000 homeless.

It is one of the world's most active volcanoes and is considered among the most dangerous.