Mount Nyiragongo, a volcano in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, erupted Saturday evening, forcing evacuations as the lava shifted course.
Residents of the nearby city of Goma were asked to evacuate late Saturday as the government began discussing emergency measures, according to a Twitter post from DRC government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya.
The volcano is one of the largest in the world. Its last large eruption of the volcano took place in 2002 and killed 250 people, CNN reported.
Around 7 p.m. local time, the volcano started erupting.
The eruption seemed to have subsided by early Sunday morning, but the evacuation plan remained in place as vulcanologists monitored the situation.
The government initially opted not to order evacuations and encouraged caution because the magnitude of the eruption was unknown, but officials said the situation was uncertain.
The Norwegian Refugee Council’s spokesperson for West and Central Africa, Tom Peyre-Costa, told CNN that the lava was not moving into the capital, but that if it changed course, people would have to flee to Rwanda.
Power was later cut off in the area as hundreds of residents began to evacuate toward the nearby border with Rwanda, The Guardian reported.