AGI – Turkmenistan’s president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, has ordered the government to close the “Gate of Hell” at Darvaza, a burning gas crater that has been a major tourist attraction for 50 years. Berdymukhamedov asked the executive authority to find a solution stating that the fire was the cause of this A huge amount of gas was wasted and harmed the environment and the health of neighboring communities. The crater is located 260 kilometers north of the capital Ashgabat, in the Karakum Desert.
Opened by Soviet geologists searching for hydrocarbons, in 1971 they dug a pocket of natural gas. The subsequent collapse of the land left space for a crater 60 meters wide and 20 meters deep. To prevent methane from entering the atmosphere and poisoning the air, scientists decided to set it on fire. Expectations were that the fire would be extinguished in a few days, but the flames never stopped, albeit less intense than in the past.
Since then, thousands of tourists visit Turkmenistan every year to enjoy a unique view of the world. This is not the first time Berdymukhamedov has asked to extinguish the pit. The Turkmen president had already issued a similar order in 2013, but the authorities were unable to find a way to put an end to this suggestive phenomenon.
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