A small scale magmatic activity, described as "volcano-like eruption", has occurred this week in Gadiyada village, Kangra district of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, causing panic among the people of the area. Flames and hot liquid steam were seen spewing out of a hill located some 100 m away from this village.
Himachal Pradesh is known for a number of hot springs which are very popular tourist attraction but according to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) this is a first time such a volcanic activity has been witnessed in the state.
According to the article published in The Times of India, residents of around a half a dozen villages in the vicinity are fearing that a bigger eruption could damage their agricultural land and houses and are awaiting the final report of GSI team. However, it seems the site has now turned into the tourist spot with hundreds of people from surrounding area heading there to see the phenomenon.
To prevent anything untoward the district administration has decided to fence off the entire area and deploy security guards.
"Gases and liquids are being emitted from holes in a 10 feet area around the hill where the volcanic activity took place," said Ved Prakash, president of Drang panchayat.
Chief parliamentary secretary Jagjivan Pal said that the underground temperature in the area has increased manifold and people say that a steel electricity pole had become red hot a couple of days back. Pal added that a sulphur-like material and black stone is flowing out from the perimeter of the hill.
Former state geologist Arun Sharma said occurrence of such a volcanic eruption has been reported for the first time in Himachal Pradesh but the presence of magmatic substance is not new to the state. He said that existence of hot sulphur springs at Manikaran, Kalath, Tattapni and Vashishth confirms that magmatic material is present underneath these springs. (TOI)
Interestingly, not 10 days before this event a similar small-scale eruption was observed for the first time in Macedonia too. Macedonia is home to the last active volcano in the Balkans - Duvalo - which spewed a significant amount of smoke and caused panic among residents on May 28th.
Featured image credit: bubblews.com - Manikaran hot springs.