BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 17, 2021– The nation’s geological authorities, as well as residents of the communities near St. Margaret’s Village, Hummingbird Highway are trying to determine the source of a constant plume of smoke rising from the Sleeping Giant since last Tuesday. Even with the recent downpour of heavy rains, the fumes continue to ascend from the Mayan Mountain range located just off the Hummingbird Highway.
Yesterday, a team from the Geology and Petroleum Department visited the location, where they did a visual assessment. They are planning to take a trek further along the route to the area from which the smoke seems to be coming sometime later this week. That expedition is being planned by the department in conjunction with other relevant agencies.
Over the weekend locals from the area took the almost 7-hour hike to the location from which the smoke appears to be originating. They could not get too close, due to the intolerable heat emanating from the location. One farmhand, Heraldo Mendez, noticed that the fire was not spreading and has been isolated to one relatively small area. The trees and leaves in that area continue to burn, he said.
At this time, the Geology Department has not released any official explanation of the cause of this seemingly strange phenomenon, but some of the theories being suggested by members of the community range from a meteor landing in the area to a steam vent of sorts causing the consistent fumes, to just a random natural occurrence, as Mendez believes is the case.
Late this evening, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining informed that its Geology and Petroleum Department has started an joint investigation with the help of the Forest Department.
“At present the cause or source of the plumes is unknown. The investigations will be concluded during the next few days and at that time the public will be informed as to the cause and any actions to be taken.” The release says.
The ministry is advising the public to cease visitation to the area until the joint investigation is concluded.
“There may be natural hazards and other safety risks that need to be determined.” The release states.