Volcano Eruption: Tips and Emergency Preparation Before, During and After a Volcanic Eruption

Volcanic Eruption

 

Nature have provided us with fascinating landforms and features.  The most often adored landforms are volcanoes.  Like the perfect cone structure of Mayon Volcano in the Philippines or Mount Fiji in Japan, people look at their beauty and wonder with great appreciation to nature.

Volcanoes are mountains with a very disastrous nature.  Their only difference is their geothermal activity.  All mountains has this, but volcanoes geothermal activity are highly active and have occasional destructive behavior that everyone wants to know.

In school, we are taught that there are two kinds of volcanoes. Dormant and inactive Volcanoes and active Volcanoes. Dormant or inactive volcanoes are like mountains that you can see from a distant which do not erupt. The other type are the active volcanoes which occasionally erupt and cause damages to properties ad people lives.

We all know that volcanoes are located in a path called the Pacific Ring of Fire.  If you’ll notice, volcanoes are like dots and the line that connects them together is the Pacific Ring of Fire.  Most active volcanoes are strategically located in this path.

You can find the most destructive volcanoes in the countries around the Pacific Ocean like Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand and the Philippines. Hawaii and other islands around the Pacific are also rich in volcanic supplies.

 

Lave Flowing From Volcanic Crater

 

Volcanic eruptions

For years, people have seen the destructive behavior and energy potential of volcanoes. A lot of people have lost their properties and loved ones to the raging molten lava of an erupting volcano. Others, suffer from the tremble of earthquakes that accompany every eruption which makes the disaster more catastrophic.  Mud flows or Lahar can also occur if rain pours down over volcanic craters near an eruption.

 

Preparing for volcanic eruptions

Fortunately, volcanic eruptions do not happen all the time. Volcanoes takes time before it can accumulate enough lava or molten rocks to trigger and start an eruption.

We all learned to monitor indicators that can tell us when an eruption of a volcano is about to happen.  Authorities have identified danger zone and can inform natives and residents within the zone and nearby areas if an eruption is eminent.

Volcanologists and seismologists can now advise people days or even months before the eruption and can provide warnings that people can act on. When a warning is issued to an area, people are expected to take the necessary precautions so their lives could be spared from the forthcoming disaster.

Below are some emergency and safety guidelines that could help anyone prepare for a volcanic eruption.

  • If your home is located within a few kilometers from the volcano or within the danger zone, evacuate at once. You can take your belongings with you or just leave them. Life is more important.
  • Earthquakes are natural occurrences when an active volcano is about to erupt so do not panic. Instead, stay calm and proceed to taking precautionary measures.
  • Sudden rains especially at the crater of the volcano would lead to an abrupt mudflow or lahar. The mud is not ordinary mud. It contains pre-volcanic eruption debris and could be hot that is enough to hard-boil an egg. Furthermore, when this mudflow settles, anything buried underneath will be hard to unearth. You should beware or you may suffer from burns coming from the mudflow.
  • During eruption, volcanoes may throw volcanic debris up in the air. Be prepared to see falling rocks and small stones coming from the crater. Thus, go to a stable and safe shelter during an eruption.
  • Volcanic eruption can also release sulfur. Therefore, prepare gas masks to avoid inhaling the foul odor coming from the release of sulfur. Suffocation may happen and you may not be able to breathe normally during a volcanic eruption without a gas mask.
  • Lava flow is the centerpiece of any eruption. It is also the most destructive material the volcano can produce during an eruption. It is composed of very hot mud or molten rocks that can instantly burn down any material on contact. At all cost, avoid getting in contact with the lava or do not attempt getting near it.
  • After the eruption, always wait for volcanologists’ or your local authority’s advice on when you can safely go back to your homes.

Volcanoes are truly one of nature’s most destructive forces. Being prepared for any volcanic eruptions can save lives. Living nearby an active volcano? You do not need to change address. All you need to do is be prepared to take precautionary measures when the volcano shows signs of eminent eruption. Listen to warnings and take action while you have time.

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