10,000 people in Cameroon are in danger after it has been found that a natural dam holding back a lake is on the verge of collapsing. Doctor Isaac
Njilah, a geologist has said the region could face great danger if volcanic tremors fracture the weakened dam, which would unleash a wall of water
that could thunder into neighbouring Nigeria. The wall is formed of pyroclastic or volcanic rock and unless immediate action is undertaken the
collapse of this dam will result in the death of thousands.
The 1986 catastrophe at Nyos -- which scientists say is the worst gas disaster on record -- focused international attention on the area, where
experts recommended the controlled release of carbon dioxide dissolved in deep lake water.
Five pipes were to be installed to drain the gas, although only one was eventually built in the lake, which lies in the throat of an old volcano in
the Oku volcanic field.
Scientists say Lake Nyos is one of only three lakes in the world known to be saturated with carbon dioxide -- along with Lake Monoun, also in
Cameroon, and Lake Kivu on Rwanda's border with Democratic Republic of Congo.
During their investigations into the disaster, scientists discovered that a huge volume of water was being held back by the fragile natural dam, just
40 metres high and 45 metres wide at its narrowest point, which was rapidly eroding.
Potholes have gaped open in the harder, upper layer of the barrage, while water is trickling through the lower section.
The outflow of the water could also release pressure on the carbon dioxide at the bottom of the lake, leading to another gas disaster of even greater
magnitude than that of 1986.
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I hope something is done soon and more scientists and engineers are sent to the region to stop this event happening. This will be a catastrophe of
titanic proportions and it seems that there is a strong probability that unless intervention takes place Now, it will happen and soon.
[edit on 21-8-2005 by Mayet]