Lakes Near Volcanoes
Image: Bill Evans, Wikimedia Commons
Lakes that are close to volcanoes should always be treated with extreme caution. From time to time, pressure builds beneath the lake bed, causing a powerful underground explosion that is known as a limnic eruption.
Such a disastrous event can prove deadly, but for those in the know, there are certain warning signs to look out for. Has there been an earthquake or a landslide on the surrounding slopes? Has it been raining heavily? If so, you should vacate the area without delay. The bubbling magma that lies beneath the lake produces carbon dioxide that, when disturbed, erupts — sending water high into the sky, and releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere.
These gases are poisonous enough to put an end to all life in the immediate vicinity. In 1986, a limnic eruption at Lake Nyos in Cameroon killed more than 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock. Seen the warning signs? Take immediate action.