To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of a volcanic hazard

Topics: Volcano, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Luzon Pages: 4 (1818 words) Published: February 24, 2015
To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of Volcanic Hazards (40 marks)

More than 500 Million people live within 50 miles of a volcano, the potential therefore exists for major loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure, particularly when urban areas are situated in close proximity. Mitigation of such losses can be achieved through careful preparedness and planning. Preparedness is the process of ensuring that an organization has complied with the preventive measures and is in a state of readiness to contain the effects of a forecasted disastrous event to minimise loss of life, injury, and damage to property. This can include the installation of monitoring systems, and the establishment of emergency response plans for warning and evacuation, search and rescue, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Whereas planning is what makes it possible to manage the entire life cycle of a potential crisis and be able to mitigate the risk of a volcanic eruption through preparedness methods. These practices are put in place in attempt to mitigate the risks of volcanic activity however successes of these methods are reliant on a range of physical and human factors. Physical factors include the nature of the eruption such as the amount of tephra produced or the viscosity of the pyroclastic flow where as human factors are variables such as population density, urbanisation and quality of infrastructure.

Mount Pinatubo is an infrequently active stratovolcano in the Cabusilan Mountains on the island of Luzon, located on the Oceanic Philippine and Continental Eurasian plate boundary. Its Plinian eruption on 15 June 1991 produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century.

As a result of this being the first eruption of the volcano for 500 years, very few methods of preparedness had been put in place as it was thought that the volcano was dormant. This made the impacts of the volcano particularly significant as settlements...
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