In south-west Kenya, a huge crack appeared in the ground suddenly. This is perhaps the first sign that Africa will split into two continents. According to the reports, the crack is as much as 50 feet deep in some areas and is almost 20 meters wide. The crack appeared in the East African Rift Valley which runs from the Horn of Africa. It passes through countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania and goes to Mozambique. There are many other weak spots in the valley as well.
The weak spots are caused by movements that occur deep in the earth’s crust. According to local reports, the cracks were filled with volcanic ash from nearby Mt. Longonot, however, the recent heavy falls exposed the cracks. National Geographic has stated that the rifts in the area are getting larger because the two tectonic plates, the Somali and the Nubian, are moving away from each other. There are chances that they might separate completely in a million years time period.
There are people who are not convinced that the crack might predict a continental breakup. It was noted that there were no reports of a strong earthquake in the area which is just the west of Nairobi. There are also chances that the crack is an inactive fossil fuel which was covered by sediments before the rainfall washed all of it away. The Kenya Geological survey believes that the crack was caused by the groundwater flow from the heavy rain. The rain came in the area after a long period of drought and might have caused erosion.
A crack that opened up in Kenya’s Rift Valley, damaging a section of the Narok-Nairobi highway, is still growing… pic.twitter.com/T5YocDauYj
— BBC (@BBC) March 26, 2018
Wendy Bohon, earthquake geologist said, “I think it’s an Earth fissure, the same sort of thing that you see in Arizona after heavy rainstorms They’re the result of heavier torrential rains that come and wash away large portions of the dirt in the ground. To me, it looks pretty cut and dry. It wasn’t a result of the tectonics, it was the result of the weather.” Be it any reason for the appearance of the crack, it is a very pressing issue for the locals.