Environment

10-km-long earth crack opens on Elgeyo escarpment, Kenya


A 10-km-long (6.2 miles) earth crack has emerged on the slopes of Elgeyo escarpment in western Kenya last week, following heavy rain in the region. There are more than 10 000 households living on the escarpment, a part of the western wall of the Great Rift Valley. Locals are voluntarily evacuating the area.

The crack appeared on Thursday, May 24, 2018 and is just the latest in a series of similar events in Kenya and neighboring Uganda in which hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed.

The fissures that stretch more than ten kilometers have cut through Kapsegut, Ketigoi and Kalwal villages and residents are living in fear that the area might sink. Roads linking the villages to other areas have been rendered impassable, Kenya’s The Standard reports.

The water has been oozing to the surface, causing depression in the earth and raising fears of landslides, locals told the paper.

Geologist Henry Kurgat warned that the fissures were a ticking time bomb.

“Given the extent of the cracks, emergency measures must be taken. Those who live downstream should be moved immediately because if the rains continue, it will take less than three days for the lower layer of the soil to roll down,” he said.

Image credit: The Standard

Over 300 homes have been destroyed after several big cracks opened in Uganda’s Namisinfwa district during the same week.

The cracks developed in Bupoto Sub County and Namisindwa town following heavy rain in the region.

The events follow similar cracks in neighboring Kenya over the past two months. 

Featured image credit: The Standard



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