Last month, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo erupted, killing 32 people.
Around 3,000 houses were destroyed, and more than 20,000 people were left homeless. At least 40 people are still missing. But one forward-thinking 24-year-old inventor has created an app to help reunite families displaced following the eruption.
Congolese app developer, Shukuru Victoire, created the “volcano alert bracelet.” According to Africa News, the tool includes a bar-coded bracelet which when connected to a mobile application, allows the displaced population to stay in touch.
“In the moments of moving from Goma to these different areas many families got separated from their children and many parents lost their children during the eruption. We as developers and solution thinkers from Goma thought of designing an application that would allow these families to find their children without going through the media without going through a lot of information, but through your application and the bracelet with the barcode,” Victoire told the publication.
Days after the eruption, the government issued a warning to Congoleans to evacuate the Nyiragongo area after tremors were felt as far as 65 miles away in the Rwandan capital of Kigali. They feared a second eruption, which fortunately did not come to pass.
“Given these scientific observations, an eruption on land or under the lake cannot be ruled out at present, and it could occur with very little or no warning,” Ndima Kongba, the military governor of North Kivu province, said. “Evacuation is compulsory. Those who do not adhere swiftly carry unnecessary risks.”
The volcano’s last eruption took place in 2002, killing 250 people and displacing thousands.