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Possible volcanic activity suspected in Ngora district after rock emits blue flames

Possible volcanic activity suspected in Ngora district after rock emits blue flames

Fear gripped the people of Ngora district in the Teso region of Eastern Uganda after they noticed un usual emissions from a rock in their community. Known as “Moru Otukei” located in Okisimo ward, Okisimo cell, Ngora Town Council, the rock has been experiencing volcanic activity evidenced by the rumbling, boiling sound associated with too much heat which increases as you advance towards the rock. Cracks are also seen developing on the Rock and increasing in size day by day.

This suspected volcanic activity started Monday morning on 18th March 2019 at about 10:00am, reported by one of the elderly women living near the rock, a one Agwang Christine.

Thursday 21 March 2019, the Environmental Officer Ngora district, after receiving the news reached Moru Otukei to assess the condition of the rock on a site visit, and she confirmed that Volcanic activity could be taking place. The revelation is contained in a letter authored by Awekoimungu Margaret, the acting Environmental officer of Ngora District to the chief Administrative officer of Ngora district.

In the report, Awekoimungu claims that community members also reported occurrence of blue flames especially at night, and some smoke. In curiosity many locals have been visiting the rock to have a glimpse of what is happening and, in the report, she advised the locals to stay away from the rock since it could lead to tragedy in case the rock erupted.

What causes a volcanic eruption?

A volcanic eruption happens when molten rock called magma (formed when the earth’s mantle melts) is forced by pressure beneath up through the conduit and out the volcano’s vents. Magma is lighter than rock therefore it rises towards the earth’s surface with bubbles and gas forming inside. When the pressure is too much an explosive can happen, which can be dangerous and destructive.

In Uganda, a previous rock activity occurred in January 2012, when residents near Onzivu Hill in Arua Municipality scampered for their lives after rocks started falling of the hill. This was reported to have been caused by expansions and contractions to the rocks due to heating.

Ngora district is a popular spot for tourists on Uganda safaris who visit the Nyero rock paintings especially after a hiking trip to Mount Elgon National Park. Tourists heading for a Uganda wildlife safari to Kidepo Valley National Park also have a memorable visit to the rock paintings.

Virtually untouched, Uganda is a great Africa safari destination, a land with a lot to discover and a lot to remember when you leave.