Mud volcano ruled out, expert says Ukhrul hill caved in due to tectonic plates movement


IMPHAL, October 22: All speculations regarding an eruption of hot liquid from a probable mud volcano in Ukhrul has been cleared after experts explained that the sinking of a portion of the hill on October 11 midnight resulted due to movement in the tectonic plates.

Head of Earth Science, Manipur University Professor S Ibotombi, after studying reports and photographs of the changes that had occurred at the particular hill slope, told this IFP reporter that though the phenomenon is quite similar to a mud volcano, as sometimes there are incidents of mud spurts during such cases, people of the area have nothing to worry about.

The exact location where the hill side has sunk is three km from an international border village- Tusom Chirsitian village under Chingai sub-division, which is five kilometres from the Indo-Myanmar border pillar number 129 and 115 kms from the district head quarter.

The portion of hill range about one and a half kilometre long has been submerged though no one was injured as it occurred at midnight.

Tusom village chief, Miksha Jimik, speaking to media persons, who, on getting information of the phenomenon, had reached the village, said though the villagers could not find out the real cause, there was continuous heavy rainfall in the area for three days and just one day before the hill slope sank, the sun shone brightly and the sky became clear.

There was no sound in the night, and the villagers found the slope caved in only when they came out for their daily routine in the morning, he said.

When asked if there was any spurt of gases or hot substances in the area the next morning or thereafter, he said there was nothing of that sort nor was there any unfamiliar smell except for water flowing.

Professor S Ibotombi talking to this reporter in his office chamber said that the rock particle found in the hill range is Ophiolite Rock and the area where the hill slope disintegrated stands upon the adjoining area between the Tusom Tectonic field and Somra Tectonic field.

There could have been a slide earthquake in the area which could have made the tectonic fields active resulting in the sinking of the hill side, he said before adding that during such occurrences, water will be released from inside due to the hydrostatic pressure and sometimes accompanied by mud but it cannot be considered as mudslide.

He also said that Manipur is an earthquake prone area and there will be frequent earthquake occurrences of various variations on the Richter scale and as such people should not construct high-rises in the hills and even in the valley regions of the state.

Ever since the sinking of the hill side, the Manipur village has remained totally cut off with Myanmar village Somra, with the only connecting road being carried away. The two villages have been trading with each other through this road.

Meanwhile, the Tusom village chief has lamented that though the hill side had sunk on October 11 about a fortnight ago and the village remains cut off till date, the government is yet to provide for an alternative which has resulted in several hardships for both his village and Somra village in Myanmar.


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