Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has ordered the officials to put out the flames at the Darvaza gas crater in the middle of the vast Karakum desert. He cited the environmental and economic concerns in a televised announcement yesterday.
The Darvaza gas crater is also known as the “Door to Hell” or “Gates of Hell”.
According to the president, the man-made crater “negatively affects both the environment and the health of the people living nearby.” He continued, “We are losing valuable natural resources for which we could get significant profits and use them for improving the well-being of our people.” Officials were instructed to “find a solution to extinguish the fire.”
A 1971 gas-drilling collapse reportedly formed the crater. It is about 60 meters (190 feet) in diameter and 20 meters (70 feet) deep. Geologists set it on fire to prevent the spread of gas expecting it to burn off in a few weeks. However, previous attempts to put it out have reportedly been unsuccessful ever since.
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