A huge crack has made a sudden appearance in Kenya that could split Africa in two.
The rip, which stretches several miles, was to blame for the collapse of the Nairobi-Narok highway, as well as further seismic activity in the area.
According to The Daily Mail, researchers claim that in millions of years, the continent could tear apart into two.
Worryingly, the divide is happening at a more rapid pace than expected; posing immediate challenges to human safety for engineers to overcome.
Although this separation won’t occur for millions of years, some geologists fear this rift is already causing noticeable issues.
So this will happen in the next 50M yrs. Can't wait pic.twitter.com/g2uogxK9or
— TEAM ENGLAND!! &?? (@Nel_kimz) March 20, 2018
KeNHA are now working to restore the collapsed road using rockfill, while ordering motorists to take different routes. However, this is reported to be only a temporary solution.
The rip in the Earth is believed to be up to 50 feet deep and over 20 metres wide and the fault line itself is said to stretch for some 700 metres. According to All East Africa, people living within the vicinity of the Maai Mahiu-Narok road have begun to evacuate their homes.
According to geologist David Adede, this collapse was due to volcanic activity.
Geological processes, such as this, cannot be prevented because they happen deep inside the Earth’s crust.
The fault lines/volcanic activity splitting Mai Mahiu-Suswa road should be of serious concern to the Government, Designers & Engineers of @SGR_Kenya that will connect to Kisumu. Imagine the losses & catastrophe of even one pillar sinking in???
God has warned us early enough!!! pic.twitter.com/mOVDz3Xyff
— just STEVE !!! (@just_STEVE___) March 19, 2018
Adede has said the volcanic activities within the region give a clear indication of future disasters if they’re not addressed immediately.
The Nubian plate and the Somali plate are said to be breaking apart by a few millimetres every year.This is because a huge section of the Earth’s mantle carries heat from close to the core all the way up to the crust; an occurence known as a ‘superplume.’
Adede made a plea to researchers:
There is a great need for researchers to conduct a comprehensive study on the terrain of this region so that they can advise on where roads and residential buildings can be established.
This can play a key role in dealing with such natural disasters should they happen.
This incident follows recent flooding within the area, which is said to have exacerbated the situation; washing away volcanic ash and exposing the cracks below.
Adebe explained how after the road split, a large hole opened and swallowed all the water; resulting in further cracks.
Infrastructure Principal Secretary, Julius Korir confessed the shifting fault line brings significant challenges for engineers.
Korir suggested the possibility of redesigning the road which is prone to damage during rainy weather.
Korir visited the scene and advised how the government would build a half-kilometer overpass to rectify the problem in the long term; noting the road’s inherent weaknesses.
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