EcoAlert: Rwanda’s Lake Kivu -One of World’s Three ‘Exploding Lakes’ Could Kill Millions or Power the Country for 100 Years

Srvr2 Lake Kivu's lethal combination of methane and carbon dioxide has residents fearing for their lives, but it's also Rwanda's most vital and promising energy source. The body of water is one of the world's three "exploding lakes" and is at serious risk of "overturn" -when huge amounts of carbon dioxide are released from under its surface, suffocating everyone in the surrounding areas. 

According to the Great Britain's Guardian, Rwandans are now systematically removing the gases from the lake in order to supply massive amounts of electricity to the country for the next 100 years. 

"Some scientists say that the ever-expanding volumes of carbon dioxide and methane in Lake Kivu," reports the Guardian, "coupled with the nearby volcanic activity, make a limnic eruption (also referred to as a lake overturn, in which CO2 suddenly erupts from the lake) highly likely at some stage in the future unless degassing occurs. This has now begun with the extraction of some of the 60bn cubic metres of methane in the water."

In recent years, two lakes overturned in nearby Cameroon, which killed 1,800 people. Lake Kivu, however, is 2,000 times larger and thus presents a disaster threat of disastrous proportions, given that the area is also more densely populated.

Casey Kazan via The Guardian.


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