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Underground inferno creates sink-holes in Old Wahong forest
Source: Hueiyen News Service / R Lester Makang

Ukhrul, July 01 2015 : A mysterious underground fire has created numerous sink-holes that emit smoke and gas in a nearby forest of Old Wahong Village in Northern Ukhrul.

Local residents said the blaze continued unabated and steadily subsided by Wednesday.

According to villagers, the inferno had so far engulfed an area of about 40 sq ft creating various sink-holes on the ground at a nearby forest areas locally known as Sitru located about 1 km toward south of Old Wahong habitation.

They said that the locals came to know of the mysterious phenomenon after a 16-year old boy Wisdom accidentally slipped his foot into the ground while venturing into the forest with a friend around the end of May last.

He sustained grievous burn injuries on his left foot.



Underground inferno creates sink-holes in Old Wahong forest
Underground inferno creates sink-holes in Old Wahong forest


Talking to Hueiyen Lanpao in Ukhrul town, Old Wahong villager Standhope Horam, father of Wisdom, said the fire might have continued since March-April this year but it came to be known only when his son trod on the site about one month back.

He further said that following this he went to the forest and inspected the site some two weeks back.

He informed at that time some 30 sq feet area was already set blazed by the fire.

"But now almost 40 sq ft area of the ground was found engulfed by the underground blaze when I last saw it the other day," he narrated.

He said that similar fire burning phenomenon was witnessed earlier in 2006-7, 2012 and 2013 but nothing untoward happened that time and wondered what actually caused the mysterious occurrence.

Another villager Thangmeiso said that the heat is hot enough to burn green plants and vegetation in the area.

When they drilled the ground surface with sticks, gaseous elements gushed out along with bubbles.

The heat burns the soil steadily and several portions of the ground are seen sinking after being consumed by the mysterious blaze.

"The burnt soil smells pungent somewhat akin to garlic pickle and resembles dark maroon in colour," he said while adding that the ground is actually not boiling but when green leaves are thrown into it, they get consumed by the heat.

Old Wahong Village having about 53 houses is located some 110 km toward North of Ukhrul District Headquarters.

It takes around 7 to 8 hrs to reach the village by vehicles due to poor road connectivity.


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