The president of Turkmenistan has called for an end to one of the nation’s most notable but infernal sights, the blazing natural gas crater commonly known as the ‘Gates of Hell’. There is a desert crater located about 260 kilometers north of Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, which has been burning for decades. It is a popular tourist spot, especially for the few tourists who visit Turkmenistan, a country that is extremely difficult to enter.
Turkmenportal, a Turkmen news site, says the crater was formed by a 1971 gas-drilling collapse, which is 60 meters in diameter and 20 meters deep. Geologists set a fire to prevent the spread of gas, expecting the gas to burn off within a few weeks. This spectacular yet unwelcome blaze has been scorching the area ever since, so much so that Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov was shown speeding through it in an off-road truck on state TV in 2019.
Berdymukhamedov, however, has ordered his government to find ways to extinguish the fire in order to avoid ecological damage and health problems for the people living in the region, the state newspaper Neitralny Turkmenistan reported Saturday.