Two main volcanic hazards from Nyiragongo can affect the local population and the surrounding environment :
1) Lava flows
The flank eruptions of Nyiragongo are very dangerous for the population leaving at foot of the volcano. The low-viscous lavas of the Nyiragongo create very fast lava flows, that are able to reach tens of km/h on the volcano flanks. In 1977 and 2002 these lava flows destroyed villages and a part of the city of Goma (today ~700 000 inhabitants) within few hours only.
2) The gas plume
The permanent SO2-rich gas plume emanating from Nyiragongo triggers acidic rainfalls that affect vegetation, crops, human infrastructures, surface water quality and human health.