Volcano management-Mt Etna vs Mt Nyiragongo

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With reference to two volcanic events that you have studied from contrasting areas of the world,
compare the ways in which volcanoes and their impacts are managed
An example of an MEDC volcanic eruption was the eruption of Mount Etna on the North East coast of
Sicily on the 30th of September 2002. It killed 77 people as well as a few fatalities. Sicily's wealth has
meant that they've been able to afford constant monitoring, the volcano itself has been monitored
by the Catania section of the INGV for the past 20 years with a permanent network of remote
sensors connected in real time to the acquisition centre in Catania. The data is continuously recorded
by permanent stations with discrete observations, surveys and laboratory analysis to evaluate the
activity of the volcano and issue warnings. There have also been geochemical monitoring
programmes to test gas and fluid emissions to predict further eruptions. Management of the impacts
of the eruption were that the army used bulldozers in an attempt to re-direct lava away from the
populated area. In particular, to divert lava away from the scientific monitoring centre that was at the
foot of Mount Etna. Dams of volcanic rock and soil were also constructed at the foot of the mountain
by the tourist base at Rifugio Sapienza.Emergency workers dug channels in the earth to divert flow
away from Linguaglossa. A ship equipped with a medical clinic was positioned near Catania to the
south of the volcano in preparation for the emergency which meant that people were treated quickly
and effectively. Tax breaks were given to people affected by the volcano to help them survive the
impacts of the eruption. More than £5.6 million was used as immediate financial assistance.
An example of an LEDC volcanic eruption was the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo on the 17th of
January 2002 on the Great East African Rift Valley. Due to the fact that it's less economically
developed, meant that there was little monitoring leading on to harsher impacts with 147 people
killed and 15% of the nearby city Goma destroyed. Management of the impacts of the eruption were
that the UN set up refugee camps at a cost of $15 million to provide for the homeless and medical
attention was given to people with smoke and fume inhalation. However, this help didn't come
instantly as unlike the Mount Etna eruption, it wasn't prepared prior to the eruption. The scientists at
the Rusayo seismic station warned the 350,000 to evacuate to Rwanda and high energy food rations
were supplied to the people in need. These evacuations only took place due to the presence of ash,
smoke and lava which was engulfing the area. An action plan that was responsible for the warning
system was drawn up by the Red Cross prior to the eruption, however the fact that no one acted
until the eruption occurred, showed that no warning was made. After the eruption, the international
community funded an observatory so people could be warned earlier. The management of the
volcano itself that occurred after the event was that an Environmental Risk Management unit was
opened in 2007 to support the Goma Volcano Observatory. This is where volcanic activity levels of
Mount Nyiragongo are displayed on a newly established system of 54 panels explaining the current
risk of eruption. The data collected by the risk management unit has led to the creation of Goma
Hazards and Risk Maps that enable safer urban planning.
Overall, both Volcanoes are managed effectively, however, the fact that the people in Sicily set up
their monitoring strategies meant that there were less fatalities. In comparison to Africa, where they
waited for the occurrence of an eruption to take monitoring action.


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