Nyiragongo.jpg (26196 bytes) Nyiragongo Volcano in Zaire, Africa. The 800 meter-wide, kilometer-deep crater of this 3465 meter-high stratocone often contains an active lava lake. In 1977 the lava lake suddenly drained through a rift zone on the flank of the volcano. The high volume eruption of very fluid lava drained the lake rapidly. The flank flows moved as fast as 60 km per hour and killed more than 70 people and a group of elephants. The lava lake began to refill in 1994. When this U.S. Geological Survey photo by Jack Lockwood www.volcanologist.com was taken in August 1994, the new lava lake covered the entire crater floor, and its crust was being torn apart by 40 meter-wide explosive fountains.

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