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Goma Tragedy: Caritas has responded and seeks further support

Caritas Australia has made an immediate contribution of US$20,000 to assist those affected by last week's eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano in the Congolese town of Goma. United Nations officials estimate 45 people were killed by the eruption. It will be some time, however before an accurate death toll can be established.

Caritas Australia partners in Goma and Rwanda have made an immediate appeal for sheeting, blankets, tents, food and cooking utensils. They are now carrying out a more detailed assessment of the needs of those affected.

The situation in Goma is particularly urgent, as the population that fled the lava flows has begun to return to the city, unwilling to stay in Rwandan refugee camps. Further eruptions of the volcano have not yet been ruled out.

Australians are asked to respond by sending donations to Caritas Australia.

Donations to those affected by the volcano can be made on 1800 024 413, on the Caritas web site, or can be sent to 19 MacKenzie Street, North Sydney, 2060.

Zenit news agency carries a report that the Catholic bishop of Goma was found in a coma today in his residence. Bishop Faustin Ngabu, born in 1935, "was found this morning in a state of coma caused, perhaps, by an emanation of gas," reported a nun who works with the bishop.

The bishop's home, located near the Goma airport, was just a few meters from the river of lava that devastated the city. The bishop chose to stay at home to prevent looting, the nun said.

The BBC is reporting on the explosion of a petrol station in the aftermath of the tragedy. Up to fifty people have been killed by the explosion.

Caritas Media Release
Zenit Report

BBC Goma page