August 26, 30 years ago today – A seismic and Volcanic surprise in the African nation of Cameroon – one of the rare volcanos situation under a lake, erupted and spewed lethal carbon dioxide gas and lava over Yaoundé in Southwest Cameroon, killing some 1,700 people over several towns and villages in the area.
Nyos was one of only three known exploding carbon dioxide filled lakes. The other one was also in Cameroon and the third was located in The Congo. And what the Carbon Dioxide gas didn’t devastate, the resulting rush of water and lava did. An urgent call was sent out for supplies and food to the area, while the search for survivors went on and burial of the dead continued, out of fear of the spread of disease. Disaster relief teams were arriving, with more on the way.
Meanwhile, the tense situation between Libya and the U.S. was continuing with State Department officials pondering what new act of terrorism Muammar Gaddafi was planning. They effectively warned the Libyan leader more military retaliation would be in the offing, should he strike again. The White House was planning on sending a strong Diplomatic effort on Gaddafi to abandon any plans he was working on in his terrorist campaign against the west. UN Ambassador Vernon Walters would be leaving the following month for Europe to try to persuade the Western Allies to cut-off all diplomatic ties with Gaddafi and to impose a total trade embargo against Libya.
And China was reported to have become Iran‘s biggest arm supplier, despite pressure from the U.S. not to upset the military balance of the Iran-Iraq War. Newspaper reports disclosed China sold Iran over $300 million worth of weapons in the previous six months. Chinese officials repeatedly denied charges that China was shipping arms to Iran.
And that’s a small, and somewhat ironic slice of what went on, this August 26, 1986 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.