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1986: Cameroon PDF Print E-mail


Nearly 2,000 people perished down slope of LAKE NYOS in August, 1986, when a large volume of poisonous gas was suddenly released from the lake late one evening. People simply "went to sleep" that night, and few ever awoke. Our USGS-OFDA team arrived a week after the tragedy, recognized that Lake Nyos was a young volcanic maar, and that carbon dioxide of volcanic origin had been released from solution in the lake's waters. On-going work by Bill Evans has shown that CO2 is continuing to be supplied to the lake, and that other gas-release events are inevitable in the future. Permanent habitations in vulnerable areas down slope is now prohibited.

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