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1989: Rwanda, Zaire PDF Print E-mail


The tragic gas release from Lake Nyos in 1986 had generated great concern in Rwanda that Lake Kivu, one of the east African Great Lakes, could also "erupt" with devastating effects. Because of our experience at Lake Nyos, Michele Tuttle and I were asked by the USGS and OFDA to evaluate the situation. Much work had already been done on Lake Kivu by German scientists, and combined with our own work we concluded that Kivu was relatively stable, but that a future subaqueous volcanic eruption could indeed cause catastrophic degassing. We recommended increased seismic surveillance of the area. I first climbed Nyiragongo during this trip, and had the fortune to meet and work with Prof. Jean-Baptiste Katabarwa, Africa's foremost volcanologist and Dean of Science at Rwanda's National University. Prof. Katabarwa and his immediate family survived the 1994 bloodbath, now resides in Canada, and has joined GCI in its international consulting work.

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