Volcano in Congo Draws Tourists
A volcano in a national park in Congo is attracting spectators. The park, best known for its endangered mountain gorillas, is now inviting tourists to go on overnight treks to see a volcano spurting fountains of lava nearly 1,000 feet into the air.
Mount Nyamulagira began erupting on Nov. 6 and could continue to do so for days, or even months.
"Last night's was the most spectacular yet," spokeswoman LuAnne Chad said Monday from Virunga National Park.
Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano attracted tourists earlier this year when a fissure had lava spurting 65 feet (20 meters) high. In comparison, volcanologist Dario Tedesco estimated that the lava on Mount Nyamulagira in Congo is spewing up to 980 feet high (300 meters) high.
Park wardens have named the latest Nyamulagira eruption "Kimanura," after the name of the area along the volcano's flank, spokeswoman Chad said.
Rivers of incandescent lava are flowing slowly north into an uninhabited part of the park, but that the lava flows pose no danger to the park's critically endangered mountain gorillas, a statement from the park said.
Virunga Park is home to 200 of the world's 790 mountain gorillas, as well as lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi, forest elephants and buffalo.