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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 176-179

Psychological impact of a volcano eruption − Mount Nyiragongo

1 Department of Psychiatry, Level III IFH MONUSCO, Goma, DRC
2 Anaesthesiology & Critical Care, Level III IFH MONUSCO, Goma, DRC

Correspondence Address:
MD, DNB, MNAMS Shibu Sasidharan
Department of Anaesthesiology & Critical Care, Level III IFH MONUSCO, Goma
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_27_21

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The volcanic eruption is a rather uncommon type of natural disaster and is restricted to certain geographical regions. The psychological distress studied among the evacuees of a volcano in many countries revealed symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, anergia, social dysfunction, and anhedonia persisting even after six months of eruption. A study after a volcanic eruption in Iceland revealed higher incidence of mental distress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in exposed versus the non-exposed groups. Insomnia, psychological morbidity, and possible long-term psychological morbidity were reported as the most common symptoms in the high-exposure group (based on the volcano-ash fall). Studies also show the involvement of children’s mental health. DRC, being a low-income country lacks the research and does not have strongly researched data regarding the prevalence of psychological morbidity post the volcano eruption. However, the psychological maladjustments after the Mount Nyiragongo eruption in 2002 were reported as the major health consequence as per WHO. This paper analyses the various psychological aspects during and after a volcanic eruption.

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