1 9 ‘To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of volcanic hazards?’(40 marks)

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A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or environment. There is a very big difference that helps prepare for a volcanic hazard and that is whether you are in a MEDC or a LEDC. In a MEDC monitoring volcanic zones and potential hazards is an option many LEDC’s don’t have. In Italy at Mt Etna they have Geochemical monitoring programs currently run by INGV which focus on the analysis of temporal changes, chemical changes and seismic activity.
This option open to the Italians is not an option for LEDC who don’t have the wealth or public education to set up these stations. In Montserrat their where no levels of monitoring at all due to Before 1995 there was no record of the volcano on Montserrat
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There are other factors predicting and preparing wont help for. One is the type of volcanic hazard such as a sudden pyroclastic flow is much more violent then a slow lava flow. With pyroclastics you can only reduce the hazard by vacation but lava flows can be diverted and slowed down with dam wall trenches and spraying water As they did in ice land on the 1973 Heimaey eruption which started on 23 January.

Some times warning isn’t enough because of peoples different circumstances and beliefs they might not leave. One example is in Columbia in 1985 where they where warned but didn’t listen as they didn’t think they would be affected and didn’t trust the people telling them. About 20,000 people are feared dead after a volcanic eruption in northern Colombia. Four towns in the Andes region are reported to have been buried when ash spewed out of the volcano, Nevado del Ruiz, causing a mudslide. These people weren’t told to evacuate until 2 hours before the major eruption casing massive loss of life. The reason for this late call was because the country didn’t trust the people observing the volcano this meant the potential hazard was far greater then it should have been ad the results where horrific. This is one example of how poor education and different situation can greatly increase the hazard.
The Nevado del Ruiz Volcano eruption is also a great example of how the physical environment affects the hazard. In Armero two

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