© ReutersNyiragongo Volcano
A landslide on the slopes of Nyiragongo Volcano in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has killed at least 46 people and washed away more than 200 houses.

The landslide started after heavy rains caused an overflow of volcanic rivers at Kibumba in North Kivu province, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

United Nations peacekeepers are caring for the victims until other humanitarian organizations take over, UN Mission in the Congo (MONUC) spokesman Madnodje Mounobai told the UN News Center on Wednesday.

North Kivu province has been the scene of interminable cycles of violence during over 10 years of war in which the Congolese army has battled various armed groups competing for control of mineral resources.

The war in the eastern Congo has dragged on since 1998 and left over 5.4 million people dead.

Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano in the Virunga Mountains. It is located inside Virunga National Park about 20 kilometers north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda.

Since 1882, the volcano has erupted at least 34 times, including many periods where activity was continuous for years at a time, often in the form of a churning lava lake in the crater.

Such fluid lava makes Nyiragongo a very unique volcano and its proximity to heavily populated areas imposes a great threat to the region.