"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


oh my gosh

Someone fell in the volcano.

Thursday afternoon, I was walking to get my bus ticket, when a group of British and French students approached me. They needed help finding a grocery store, as they were preparing to climb and descend the Nyiragongo volcano on Friday. The volcano is, in general, the only reason there are ever any tourists in Goma. Some also try to see the gorillas every now and then, but most people come in for a day or two, then hightail it out of town as fast as possible.

This morning, I stopped by that same store, and was asked if I'd heard from them. I said no, and my friend there didn't tell me what he'd probably heard: that a tourist fell in on Friday.

She was, apparently, Chinese, and according to Radio Okapi, it's unclear whether she fell in the lava or if she is caught on the rocks.

My friend here says it's true, and that she died. MONUC is apparently engaged in the search.

How awful.

Several other friends were planning to climb the volcano today. I wonder if they were allowed to go. Yikes.

UPDATE: Holy crap, she survived the initial fall. It's unclear whether she's alive or dead at this point as they had to suspend rescue operations after dark last night.

UPDATE: Goma's Volcanic Observatory confirms that the victim died. Jacques the volcanologist and a team of MONUC peacekeepers are working on recovery efforts.


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