KINSHASA – Over 20 000 people have been left homeless and 40 are missing following a volcanic eruption in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last Saturday, ENN reports.

A stratovolcano sent rivers of lava streaming down the hillside from mount Nyiragongo, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands to flee. The volcanic lava stopped flowing 300 meters shy of Goma airport, the main hub for aid operations in the east of DRC.

People who fled their homes have lost valuable possessions, including furniture and motorcycles that were consumed by the lava flow. More than 200 small and medium subsequent earthquakes have since caused cracks in buildings and streets in Goma, east of DRC. The cracks, some 60 centimeters wide have caused panic among residents who are unsure if the danger has passed.