This is hell city!
Jharia sits over a huge underground fire that has burned for 100 years and which occasionally opens immense chasms that swallow everything above them.
Eternal fires are burning just below the earth’s surface in Jharia, India, slowly consuming a vast store of coal and occasionally opening immense chasms that swallow everything above them.
Johnny Haglund documents what it’s like living with such an inferno.
The fires started in 1916 and are the result of coal mines that were improperly shut down.
Twenty years ago, the earth opened and destroyed 250 houses in just two hours. Over time the flames have chewed through 41 million tons of the coal.
Today, some 70 fires are currently burning.
People live amongst smoke and toxic fumes that constantly seep out of the earth, causing respiratory and skin problems.
Residents’ faces are burning and covered by a layer of coal. The soles of boots are meting off.
Some people steal coal from the mines, selling it in local markets or using it for cooking and heating.
Though they might go unnoticed by authorities, these individuals often are injured or killed falling into fissures.
Many of them are children, struggling up the mine’s embankments with heavy loads.
Efforts to relocate residents have been hampered by bureaucratic holdups and local resistance.
Underground fires are notoriously difficult to put out. Some experts say Jharia has enough coal to burn for another 3,800 years. Fires can be extinguished by sand, water, or cutting off the oxygen supply.
Link: This Hellish Underground Fire Has Burned for 100 Years – Wired
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