The sudden release of water with sand while digging a borehole at Kapan of Budhanilkantha Municipality, today, took witnesses by surprise.

The water has been billowing like a fountain as high as 12.19 metres for hours.

The site lies near Shiva temple in Kapan.

The Department of Mines and Geology was already informed about the release of water. Prithvi Lal Shrestha, a senior geologist of the Department, has already visited the site to assess the situation.

The geologist said, the water is mixed with methane gas. "There is methane gas underground in Kathmandu valley. Earlier, it was also released in Kalimati, Teku and Dhumbarahi areas," said Shrestha.

He urged the locals not panic over the incident and let the gas be released until it stops naturally. He said methane was an inflammable gas and fire should not be lit around it. He could not estimate how long this natural phenomenon would last.

Local resident Badri Dhakal expressed amazement at the scene, saying, "the land may have caved in as a result. A large lump of sediments erupted at the beginning.

The sediments smell like gas," he said.

The eruption took place around 150 metres below. As a result, the area has turned muddy.

A crowd of local people gathered to see the eruption.

Police had to clear the crowd through miking. "As per the advice of geologists, people around 200 metres away from the site have been asked not to light fire as a safety measure," said Inspector Bhagawati Timilsina.

"A traffic diversion along Kapan Panchakumari-Shiva temple will be constructed," she said.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 19 2021, of The Himalayan Times.