Hundreds of villagers in Sagalla area in Voi sub-county are living in fear after a dormant mountain showed signs of volcanic activity.
Locally known as Mlima Goe, the towering mountain is one of the highest peaks in Sagalla area.
Reports say that Goe Mlima roared to life on Wednesday following a severe thunderstorm that hit the region.
Local residents say a powerful thunderbolt smashed the crater at the top of the towering mountain sending tremors that were felt miles away.
Since then, the crater has been smoldering and spluttering fiery sparks, triggering unprecedented panic across the region.
Those at risk are hundreds of learners of Sagalla International Talent Academy (SITA) which is located at the base of the burning mountain.
Speaking to KNA on Friday, the Sagalla Talent Academy head teacher Mr. Pamphil Mwakio confirmed that the mountain was restive.
He added that the school management was consulting with educational officials to decide whether to close down the institution citing the burning rock at the top of the mountain.
He said he had informed officials from the forestry department about the burning rock.
“We want to seek for advice from the ministry of education officials whether we can close it down until the mountain is declared safe,” he said.
He expressed concern that prolonged burning of the mountain might cause it to collapse and cause a massive rock fall over the school.
Goe Mountain is part of the scenic Sagalla Precambrian Mountain Ranges. It is estimated to be slightly above 2,200 feet above sea level.
Voi Education boss Kennedy Machora said his office was liaising with relevant departments to assess the situation adding that first priority would be the safety of the learners.
“The fire has been going on for three days. We have to make a decision as it is showing no signs of abating,” he said.
When contacted, County Chief Forest Conservator Mr. Allan Ongere said his officers were at the site evaluating the enormity of the problem.
He said that the area chief had informed his office about the occurrence on Thursday night after more fire erupted from the mountain.
“We are assessing the situation very carefully and will establish the severity of the situation,” he said.
He added that geology department was also working closely with the locals to establish whether the mountain posed any threat.
However, local residents called for urgent action to forestall the looming disaster. Mr. Dalmas Kipande, a resident, said the fire was actually on a bare rock that had started showing signs of collapsing.
He added that an opening had appeared on the rock from where live tongues of fire could be seen sprouting from inside.
He stated that the forest cover was untouched as it was way below the level of where the fire was burning.
“The fire is not burning trees. It is inside the rock. It has rained for two days yet the fire is as active as ever. We need to know if we are in danger,” he said.
He added that should the rock explode, it would cause devastating damages to life and property to thousands of people in the region.