Hundreds of children missing after DR Congo volcano eruption

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By Mark Armstrong  with AFP
Hundreds of children missing after DR Congo volcano eruption
Copyright  Euronews/AFP/Guerchom Ndebo

Hundreds of parents are still searching for their children after being separated as they fled an erupting volcano In the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Around 400,000 people left the North Kivu capital of Goma after a brief one-day eruption of Mount Nyiragongo on May 22.

The tremors have since died down, but many children are still missing. 

"My sisters and I were tied together with a loincloth so as not to get lost. When we arrived, we were separated from our neighbours," said Paruis Ngwali.

"Later, one of our neighbours who was in Goma noticed us and asked where our mum was. I replied that our mum had stayed in Goma. He picked us up and took us to a host family."

The International Committee of the Red Cross has set up six contact points in the district to help with the search. The UN children's organisation, UNICEF, said more than 300 children were still waiting to be reunited with their families.

Pierrette Mihindano lost track of her three daughters in the rush to escape - but her story ultimately had a happy ending.

On Wednesday, she ran towards a vehicle of the ICRC and her three little girls clambered out to throw themselves into her arms, one so tiny that she could hardly walk.