Monday, June 16, 2014

The Door to Hell


Locals call it “The Door to Hell”. It offers a spectacular view of flames burning inside a crater located in Derweze (a village with a population of about 350) in the the heart of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. The site is about 260 kilometres north of Ashgabat, the capital.

Soviet-era geologists were drilling at the site in 1971 and tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas.But the ground beneath the drilling rig collapsed, leaving a hole with a diameter of 70 metres.Fearing that the hole would lead to the release of poisonous gases, the team decided to burn it off. It was hoped that the fire would use all the fuel within days, but it was not to be.

The raging fire inside the crater is still burning after more than 40 years! Hmmm, the idea of visiting Hell seduces me!

[In April 2010 the country's president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed but this is yet to happen].

Vanessa Raj, Delia Arnold, Low Wee Wern and Nicol David celebrate Malaysia’s victory in the women’s Asian Team Championships in Hong Kong. Photo: SportAsia

Yesterday, Malaysia won the women’s Asian Squash Team Championships for the first time since 2008 by beating hosts Hong Kong 2-0 in the final.

My two fave gals easily won their matches. World No. 7 Low Wee Wern beat Liu Tsz-ling 3-0 (11-5, 11-2, 11-7) in the first match and World No. 1 Nicol David sealed the victory with a 3-1 (11-3, 11-2, 7-11, 11-6) win over stand-in Hong Kong No. 1 Joey Chan.

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