To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of volcanic hazards? (40 marks)
A volcanic hazard is a situation that poses a threat to life, the environment, and infrastructure after a volcanic eruption. Volcanoes are formed at various plate boundaries, such as at mid oceanic ridges where plates are moving apart, for example at the Mid Atlantic ridge. They also occur on or near subduction zones. The ‘ring of fire’ tends to be where the most violent volcanic activity occurs. The scale of destruction a volcano has is heavily dependant on whether the eruption occurs in an MEDC or an LEDC and the way in which these country’s prepare and plan for the possibility of a volcanic eruption. Additionally, many human and physical factors can contribute to the effects the volcanic eruption has on an area. Planning and preparing for volcanic eruptions effectively can reduce the impacts they have on an area significantly.
The Education of local people about volcanic eruptions can reduce the effects of a volcano substantially. If one is educated about different aspects about preparing and planning for eruptions they are more likely to evacuate the area quicker. For example, In Montserrat the farmers were not educated about the effects that the volcano would have, and therefore ignored the numerous warning signs, as they did not have the education that perhaps, a more developed country may have.
The eruption of Mount Etna eruption in 1991 shows how effective preparation and planning can have positive effects on a volcano’s hazards. Mount Etna is Europe’s highest and most active volcano, whilst being viewed as one of the worlds best managed. Prior the 1991 eruption of Mount Etna, massive barriers had been set up on the slopes of the volcano. This was not a permanent solution but to delay the start so that of the eruptions other methods could be brought in. Helicopters dropped concrete blocks through the tops of the volcano on the to block some vents...
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