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Fear as Ngora rock develops cracks, starts heating and could erupt

Officials in Ngora district have warned that there is impending catastrophe following strange volcanic behaviour of a rock in the town council.

According to the district’s Environment Officer Margaret Awekonimungu, the rock named Moru Otukei which is located in Okisimo Ward, Okisimo cell, Ngora Town council is experiencing a volcanic activity ‘evidenced by the boiling sound associated with heat, which increases as you advance towards the rock’.

“Cracks were also seen developing at the foot of the rock, the local people observed that the cracks are increasing in size,” Awekonimungu said in a report to the Chief Administrative Officer in the District, Thursday.

In the same report, Awekonimungi claims that community members also reported occurrence of blue flames especially at night, and some smoke.

The volcanic activity at the rock reportedly started Monday morning at about 10:00am as reported by an elderly woman, a one Christine Agwanga, who resides near it. Locals maintain the strange behaviour of the rock has been ongoing.

Fears

Awekonimungu expressed fears that people out of curiosity always move towards the rock to witness what is happening, which puts their lives in jeopardy should the rock erupt.

She also expressed that the area surrounding the rock is densely populated hence the numbers of causalities could be unimaginable should the rock erupt.

In her report, Awekonimungu also highlighted that the rock is far above the town, which places it strategically to pour its magma and submerge Ngora town, while the blast could come with tremors/earth quake.

Now Awekonimungu wants the Chief Administrative Officer to inform relative authorities in the ministry of energy and mineral resources as well as the disaster preparedness ministry in the Office of the Prime Minister for necessary action and support.

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She also maintains that people should be shifted from the area with immediate effect if the country is to avoid a tragedy.

A volcanic eruption begins when pressure under a molten rock forces magma up through the conduit and out the volcano’s vents.  When the magma chamber has been completely filled, the type of eruption partly depends on the amount of gases and silica in the magma.

Previous rock cases

In January 2012, residents near Onzivu Hill in Arua Municipality scampered for their lives after rocks started falling of the hill.

According to residents in the area, there was constant shaking and tremors before rocks started hurling themselves off the hill.

Authorities would later report that the incident was caused by expansions and contractions to the rocks due to heating.

 

 

 

[source: https://nilepost.co.ug/2019/03/22/fear-as-ngora-rock-develops-cracks-starts-heating-and-could-erupt/]

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