Africa is endowed with three known exploding lakes that are saturated with carbon dioxide gas being Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun in Cameroon and Lake Kivu in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and is in the western branch of the East African Rift Valley.

Deep at the bottom of the lake, about 300meters down, Kivu’s water is heavy with dissolved gas. The lake contains an estimated 256 cubic kilometres of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 65 cubic kilometres of methane.

Scientists estimate Lake Kivu contains around 1,000 times more gas than the two Cameroonian lakes, Lake Monoun and Lake Nyos, which both erupted in the 1980s.

Rwandan government has a plan to suck up the water from the lower reaches of the lake and extract the dissolved gases for commercial use.

Lake Nyos

This is a crater lake in the Northwest Region of Cameroon, located about 315 km northwest of Yaoundé A pocket of magma lies beneath the lake and leaks carbon dioxide (CO2) into the water, changing it into carbonic acid. On August 21, 1986, possibly as the result of a landslide, Lake Nyos suddenly emitted a large cloud of CO2, which suffocated 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby towns and villages

Lake Monoun

This is a lake in West Province, Cameroon, that lies in the Oku Volcanic Field. On August 15, 1984, the lake exploded in a limnic eruption, which resulted in the release of a large amount of carbon dioxide that killed 37 people.

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