Defusing a ticking time bomb

kivusee.jpgSwiss researchers have come to the help of the Rwanda‘s government. Methane and carbon dioxide deep in Lake Kivu threaten local populations with a potentially lethal gas eruption. If these gases were destabilised by an earthquake or a volcanic eruption, people could be poisoned, much in the same way it happened at Cameroon’s Lake Nyos (1,800 deaths). The Rwandan authorities want to make use of the methane to generate electricity, a vital commodity in the region. But they need to know if they can extract from the lake’s depths safely. Scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology are advising the Rwandan government and the company that wants to siphon the gas on best how to cause the least disturbances possible.

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