Panic is spreading among people in Marrikunta Thanda of Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh after flames started erupting from newly formed earth cracks on October 13, 2018.
Cracks in the ground were seen up to a depth of about 200 m (656 feet), a local news portal reported, adding that news is spreading in the surrounding villages and people are flocking to witness the fire rising from the ground.
Local officials informed Oil And Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) and Mines and Geology department who initiated an investigation and later confirmed the presence of gas reserves.
At the beginning of 2017, ONGC said it has discovered a huge gas hydrate reserve in the KG basin off the Andhra Pradesh coast. The reserve is estimated to be 134 trillion cubic feet, which could make India energy self-sufficient. However, the world is yet to discover technology that can turn gas hydrates into commercial gas.
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Kurnool district is far inland, near the border with Karnataka, which suggests gas hydrate reserves are present far away from the coast.
Featured image credit: The Hans India