Eruption of mud volcano in the Caspian Sea sparks controversy in Azerbaijan
An explosion in the Caspian Sea, about 30 kilometers off the shore, occurred at 21:50 on July 4. For several hours, government agencies have been issuing contradictory statements, sparking controversy in society.
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A few minutes after the explosion, vacationers on the coast of the sea in Baku began posting photos and videos of the incident on social media. The first version among social media users was an explosion on the Umid platform, located approximately in that part of the sea.
Not a single structure of the state oil company was damaged, work continues, as usual, Ibrahim Akhmedov, deputy head of the SOCAR press service, said on his Facebook page half an hour after the explosion. He added that, according to preliminary information, a mud volcano had erupted. But after literally three to four minutes, he removed this assumption from his post.
This was followed by several conflicting statements from other government agencies.
The Academy of Sciences said that there were no mud volcanoes on that territory. The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources countered this information with the statement that the picture was similar to the eruption of a mud volcano. The same opinion was held in the seismological center of the republic.
These statements have led to an increase in speculation on social media which then quickly turned into a series of conspiracy theories.
One of the users wrote that the explosion took place on a Russian submarine. Almost at the same minute, one of the Turkish bloggers posted an audio recording in which he announced an attack on the oil structures of Azerbaijan by Russia, which followed the signing of a Turkish-Azerbaijani agreement in Shusha.
The incident was only clarified this morning when SOCAR made another statement about the eruption of a mud volcano on the small rocky island of Dashly, located 10-12 kilometers from the Umid gas production platform. A video filmed from the helicopter cockpit was attached as evidence to the claim.