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9/08/2007

Panic as Oldonyo Lengai spits hot lava

Tanzania
Intermittent volcanic eruptions from Oldonyo Lengai Mountain in Arusha Region have caused panic and anxiety among villagers living nearby. The surrounding communities, especially those at Engaresero Village, who had previously defied a government evacuation order, are currently seeking assistance to move out, following days of mountain rumbling. Interviewed residents of the village, which is situated 16 kilometers from the mountain, confirmed seeing discharge of red-hot dust from the mountaintop on Tuesday night, coupled with tremors and explosions. The first explosion was heard after midnight on Tuesday. It was followed by another powerful blast Wednesday morning, which forced all residents to revisit their previous decision of sticking to their guns. Tourists who spent a night at Engaresero decided to cut short their visit after witnessing the flow of hot lava down the mountain, which covered all creeks located downhill. In July, volcanic activities were reported at Oldonyo Lengai, occurring almost at the same time as earth tremors in other parts of Tanzania. The affected regios are Arusha, Kilimanajaro, Mwanza, Dodoma and Dar es Salaam. Earth tremors also shook the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi.
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