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

Topics: Volcano, Lava, Basalt Pages: 4 (2188 words) Published: May 22, 2015
To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of volcanic hazards? (40 marks) A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or the environment. Therefore, in this case a volcanic hazard is the threat posed from natural volcanic processes towards the populations and the environment. The extent of volcanic hazards can vary due to two factors; physical factors such as the type of volcano and human factors such as the population density in the area. Volcanic hazards can also be placed into two phases: primary hazards such as lava flows and gas emissions; there are also secondary hazards such as lahars and landslides. The management of volcanic hazards are done through preparedness and planning where through prior risk assessments with monitoring the effects are mitigated. There are three stages of managing eruptions; before the event, during the event, and the evacuation; the effective transitions between these stages creates a situation where there is minimal damages from a volcanic event. Mitigation, in this question refers to elimination or reduction of the risk posed by a natural hazard (volcanic hazard), usually through human intervention. The scale of preparedness and planning varies from less developed countries (LDC’s) to more developed countries (MDC’s) either from financial backing or through technological advances. The lack of preparedness and planning in the volcanic event of Chaiten in Chile saw widespread environmental and infrastructure damage. While, the 2010 eruption in Iceland gave an insight of the wider hazards to other countries in the world; but through high levels preparedness and planning there has been minimal damages to infrastructure and the population. On 2nd May 2008, the Chaiten volcano in Chile erupted for the first time in around 9400 years. In this case as the volcano was dormant for such a long period and was located in a remote area with a low population density the Chilean...
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