Is the rift opening up in Tanzania? State of panic as soils are liquefying and swallowing homes in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam mysterious mud liquefaction house collapse
Dar es Salaam mysterious mud liquefaction is no new volcano erupting in Tanzania but still destroys homes in Tanzania. Picture: The Citizen

The soil under Dar el Sallam, the finance capital of Tanzania, is mysteriously liquefying under homes and businesses.

Mud has been seen coming out of the soil, destroying at least 9 houses (total collapse), cracking tens of others and prompting mass evacuations.

Dar es Salaam mysterious mud liquefaction house collapse
One of the destroyed houses after soil liquefaction in the financial capital of Tanzania. Picture: The Citizen

Residents started taking the situation seriously when a child and a cow almost drowned in one of the mud pools

The source of the oozing mud is unknown

It was first thought it could be coming from a small stream. But then the similar phenomenon was discovered in many neighboring districts of the town. So what the heck?

Dar es Salaam mysterious mud liquefaction house collapse
Mud coming out of the soil in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. Picture: The Citizen

According to residents of a neighborhood, a small hill formed at the center of an abandoned football field. And now, this small ‘volcano’ seems to be the epicenter of the ‘mudslides’ in the area.

Dar es Salaam mysterious mud liquefaction house collapse
That’s really weird, isn’t it? Picture: The Citizen

Yes, it is probably no new mud volcano formation and eruption. Dar es Salaam was not built in a volcanic region.

But as you know, East Africa is breaking up, forming a new ocean.

But why is the soil liquefying in Tanzania?

According to the Geologic Survey of Tanzania: “What happened at Kunduchi Mtongani was a normal liquefaction which occurs when seismic forces (either natural or man-made) affect saturated, loose, granular layers, forcing the loose soil structure to contract and in the process, generating excess pore water pressure, accompanied by a reduction in soil strength.

According to officials, such liquefaction events are also common in some parts of Shinyanga, Singida and Dodoma regions.

So is there a link with the Great Rift Valley?

The valley of the East African Rift is a diverging plate boundary which extends from the Afar Triple Junction southward across eastern Africa

It is currently in the process of splitting the African Plate into two new separate plates (the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate).

Map of the Great Rift Valley in Eastern Africa
Map of the Great Rift Valley in Eastern Africa

During this process this part of Africa will break into several smaller and larger tectonic blocks, thus creating a new ocean basin.

Tanzania is part of the Great Rift Valley. The ongoing geological processes in the region release enormous tension, capable of liquefying soils. So all these forces at play may be an explanation to the soil liquefaction events actually happening in Dar es Salaam.

Yes! Again, this strange mud coming out of the soil in Tanzania will remain a geology mystery, at least until similar phenomena will occur in other large cities along the Rift Valley. More weird geological phenomenon on The Citizen, Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle.

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    • Had two ponds around four years ago. One day, I heard a slurping sound. I looked toward pond area, and a sand hole had opened up. It was the size of a rabbit hole. In about 20 minutes, the pond was drained. The pond was between two huge juniper/cedars.

      I think the roots had spread down to my leech field. I think the sandy spot must have opened up enough to create a channel. Or the ant mound had extensive tunnels, and the water path followed? Not sure.
      I ended up making a tortoise enclosure out of that area. I put down pieces of fence at base, then filled in with 3/8ths. minus red cinders. Then put a landscape brick oval around it about five courses high.
      Then the tortoise died. So, now I am making a greenhouse in there.
      So, when life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.

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