The explosive lakes of Africa

Rain, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, or landslides are some of the natural phenomena that can become what we call disasters natural. This occurs when these phenomena of nature cause enormous material and human life losses, which could have been avoided with prevention plans, that is, with the action of man.

A little-known natural disaster is the limnic eruption, also known as the “lake phenomenon explosive" Fortunately, there are only three such lakes in the world. Would you like to discover more details about this natural disaster and about the three explosive lakes that exist on the planet? Well, we recommend that you do not miss anything that we tell you below!

Explosive Lake Phenomenon

Before introducing you to the three explosive lakes that exist in the world, we want to talk to you about this phenomenon unknown by the vast majority. It is a strange natural disaster in which high concentrations of carbon dioxide suddenly erupt deep below, suffocating humans, wildlife and livestock. Also, keep in mind that it can also cause tsunamis. According to some scientists, landslides, volcanic activity, or some explosions can trigger a limnic eruption. At the moment, this phenomenon has only been observed twice: in Lake Monoun in Cameroon, in 1984, causing the death of 37 people who lived in the surroundings; and in 1986 on Lake Nyos, also in Cameroon, killing almost 1,800 people.


Lake Monoun

As we were saying, two of the explosive lakes are in Cameroon. One of them is Lake Monoun, which is located in the Northwest Region, in the Okuen volcanic field. It was on August 15, 1984 when the limnic eruption occurred that released a large amount of carbon dioxide, killing 37 people, although at first they did not know the cause of the death of so many people. In fact, it was believed that it could be a terrorist attack. To prevent the lake from exploding again, a ventilation duct was inserted in 2003.

Lake Nyos

Much worse were the consequences of the limnic explosion in Lake Nyos, also located in the northwest of Cameroon, specifically on the flank of an inactive volcano near Mount Oku. The limnic eruption occurred on August 21, 1986, when a cloud of carbon dioxide killed 1,800 people and 6,000 head of cattle. Some scientists believe that the disaster occurred after a landslide or earthquake. Since 1990 experts have been working to degas the lake.


Kivu Lake

Finally, we want to talk about Lake Kivu, one of the great lakes in Africa. It is located on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the Great Rift Valley. Its waters are sadly known for having been one of the chosen places to throw many of the victims of the Rwandan genocide. It has recently been discovered to contain some 55 billion cubic meters of methane gas at a depth of 300 meters. According to experts, an eruption that emptied this lake would be catastrophic, since about 2 million people live near its basin. So the Rwandan government has launched a project to extraction It could also serve to achieve up to 960 megawatts of electricity generation capacity, which could mean the country's energy independence.

Limnic Eruptions: When Lakes Explode (May 2021)

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