Last week British Geologists announced what amounts to a good news as well as a disappointing news to most die-hard Ethiopians who are extremely obsessed in getting access to the Eritrean Red Sea or an outlet of their own by any miracle .
The discovery shows the existence of a giant underground reservoir of molten rock, 32 Km below the deserts of Ethiopia’s Afar region. On the surface, they also discovered a giant ‘crack’.
Prof. Kathy Whaler, a geophysicist at Edinburg University, who presented her preliminary results to the UK’s Royal Society last week, said, the reservoir is under heavy pressure that eventually forced the molten rock up towards the surface and results a series of earthquakes and volcanic activities similar to the one the region experiences recently.
Afar lies in what is called the East African Rift Valley, at a point where three tectonic plates (Afar Triangle) are pulling apart from each other to create gaps, or ‘rifts’, which allows molten rock to well up from deep below. The scientists are convinced that the huge crack at the surface of Afar region in Ethiopia are the result of such tectonic activity.
However, despite all these positive developments, the geologists finds one huge obstacle for the Eritrean Red Sea waters from flooding the Afar region, which is below sea level, so that the ‘huge crack’ fill and eventually become a new ocean.
The findings concluded that the only barrier right now that prevented Afar from flooding and to form a new ocean is the existence of a ‘barrier of low hills’ from Eritrea. The geologists believe that these protective barriers will be overcome in about one million years for the Red Sea to inundate the whole area and create the new ocean.
That clearly mean that Ethiopians have to wait for another one million years, which is a staggering speed by geological standards, before they will find themselves swimming in a sea or ocean of their own.
Professor Whaler, also added that “over geological time, parts of southern Ethiopia and Somalia will split off and form a new island that moves out into the Indian Ocean.”
Technically it means that when that happens, Ethiopia will lose its nose and that also mean that Africa will lose its horn.