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“Gates of Hell” to be closed

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    13th Jan, 2022


Turkmenistan's president wants to close a popular tourist attraction known as the "Gates of Hell." The site is a spectacular natural gas crater that has burned for decades.

What is the 'Gates of Hell'?

  • The "Gates of Hell" is located roughly 260 kilometers (160 miles) north of the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat. 
  • The site is 60 meters (190 feet) wide and 20 meters (70 feet) at its depth.
  • Turkmenportal, a Turkmen news site, said the "Gates of Hell" first formed in 1971 when Soviet geologists hit a natural gas cavern in the large Karakum Desert, causing it to collapse by accident.
  • Soviet geologists started the fire to prevent the spread of natural gas, mistakenly believing it would be extinguished in a short period of time.
  • Decades later, the "Gates of Hell" is still burning, like the inferno it is named for.

Why are there demands to close it?

  • There are ecological damage and economic concerns.
  • The natural gas fire "negatively affects both the environment and the health of the people living nearby."

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