Garbage tornado in Kandy – Meethotamulla methane levels inspected

Garbage tornado in Kandy – Meethotamulla methane levels inspected

Garbage tornado in Kandy – Meethotamulla methane levels inspected

Written by Lahiru Fernando

30 Apr, 2017 | 7:40 am

The Sri Lanka Army is continuing its operations to stabilise the Meethotamulla garbage dump after the tragic collapse which occurred on April 14.

Saturday, April 29 – The National Building Research Organisation and the Sri Lanka army engineers corps tested the dump site for any potential chemical risk.

The NBRO says that, though there is no big difference, Methane levels have spiked in one or two places. NBRO’s Sarath Premasiri put it down to a result of the reactions inside the garbage dump.

“The situation now does not pose a threat. We have instructed to limit the use of fire near this location …” he added.

Meanwhile locals of Meethotamulla claim that a chemical was sprayed on the garbage dump several weeks before disaster struck.

“… What is refered to as a chemical being sprayed is the inclusion of fungi to expedite the decaying process.”, clarified Sarath Premasiri

Premasiri says that there can be an increase in the build-up of methane when fungi goes to the base of the dump, though it will not cause trouble when on top. “Chemicals were not added recently. We cannot be sure if there was a sudden spike …” he said.

A garbage tornado?

A tornado-like phenomenon was seen at the Goha-Goda Garbage dump in Kandy on April 28.

“… We saw it all of a sudden. There was a sudden updraft then it increased to a several feet and then to over a kilometre in height …” said a local.

The site was inspected today by professor Athula Senaratne from the University of Peradeniya. The professor said that the concentration of Methane gas in the area where the phenomenon took place is “very high”.

“…There needs to be a study in to the interior of this dump. A team will arrive here on Monday May 1 with equipment to measure the levels of Ammonia , Methane and other gases …”, said Prof. Athula Senaratne of the Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya.

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