Smoke continues to consume several residential and agricultural communities on the Hummingbird Highway and right now, no one knows what’s causing it. Residents and field workers say that this misty atmosphere near the massive Sleeping Giant is not from a bush fire but something more dangerous. Love News has been following the story and our News Editor, Dale McDougall spoke to Milton Maldonado, who shared pictures of the event — one which many feel is a dormant volcano, something that has never been reported in Belize before.
Dale McDougall, News Editor: Describe for us what has been the scene like ?
Milton Maldonado, Concerned Citizen: “Okay the scene that we are concerned about at the moment or at least for the past ten days is that we have observed a smoke coming out from the base of the Sleeping Giant mountain. Some other citizens have also visited the area and they have said and reported to us that they’re seeing like molten rock at the base of this mountain. We don’t know, we’re not sure exactly what it is at the moment but yes they are saying that it is not a usual fire, it seems that it’s something more than just a fire. So the smoke is very visible from far. These days as you know there has been a lot of rain pouring and the rain has not been able to extinguish this fire so we believe it may be something else and we’re not sure what it is but you know it’s kinda concerning. Some of them are suspecting that it can be a dormant volcano and they are afraid that it might just erupt and they will have to run and fear for their lives. At the moment the smoke is not that dense I would say that it is affecting them at the moment but yes they are kind of fearing that it is a volcano.”
Again, there is no official word on what is causing the smoke, despite reports of molten lava in the area. However, Maldonado is hopeful that the authorities will get to the bottom of it.
Milton Maldonado, Concerned Citizen: “I’m hoping that the relevant authorities do take it serious and visit the area as soon as possible I would say and hope that it turns out to be something not that disastrous, something kind of midlevel you know so that the guys doing agriculture there especially the citrus and owners don’t get affected because there’s a large area being worked on citrus there and some of them may have cattle as well but hopefully I hope that it’s not the worst.”
Our newsroom also spoke to Director of the Geology and Petroleum Department, Andre Cho, who told us via phone today that based solely on the videos and pictures they’ve received, there is the possibility of hydrothermal activity but they will get a better idea when they visit the site tomorrow, provided that they can navigate through the treacherous terrain. If accessibility proves difficult, they may have to trek the area when the rains let up. However, he says that there may be some geological activity, given that further south, there are some hot springs. We continue to follow the story.