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Icelandic Volcano Risk


Bill
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I?ve just been doing a bit of background reading on the Icelandic volcanoes and found something I knew nothing about and it?s all a bit worrying.

 

Apparently, the largest ever recorded natural disaster in the UK occurred back in 1783 when an estimated 23,00 people died following an eruption of a volcano in Iceland! Clouds of fine ash together with large amounts of sulphur dioxide drifted across the UK causing a massif rise in the death rate from respiratory issues. The same eruption wiped out 75% of the Icelandic population due to starvation as a result of thick ash deposits that smothered the crops.

 

If you think about it, the current eruption could just as easily have done the same but with today?s population being N times that of 1783, deaths could possibly run into the millions.

 

Scary thought eh! :shock:

 

Here's the link

 

Bill :)

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I think your right Diz. A story like this now would probably cause mass panic. It?s interesting to read the report that originally went out three years ago speculating that such an event could happen again in the future.

 

Suppose the time to start worrying is when Moira Stuart reads the news wearing a gas mask. :lol:

 

Bill :)

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Interesting prog on CH4 tonight Sue, about the Icelandic volcanoes: seems there are much bigger beasts under the ice, waiting to errupt. And if, or rather when they do, like the 1784 erruption, we'll experience a lot more inconvienience than just not being able to fly - like not being able to eat. :shock:

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I also watched the programme on Channel 4.

 

The "expert" was saying that the volcano that caused the problems last month had been dormant since 1783 but its neighbour Mt Kapler has lain dormant under 500 feet of ice since 1918. It is a lot bigger and is long overdue to erupt.

 

The evidence of what happened in 1918 was extremely disturbing and at the very end of the programme they flew over it to find there are cracks in the ice which seems to indicate there nay be some activity deep underground as they know that volcanoes trigger each other.

 

Worth watching on Channel 4 I-player if you missed it.

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The 1784 erruption caused ash to fall like snow over the UK and norther Europe, and lasted about 8 months; wiping out crops, thus starving animals and eventually humans. The famine it caused, has been linked to a major cause behind the French Revolution. But what are OUR Government doing? Aside from the usual twittering on about global warming etc - have ANY preparations been made in terms of Emergency Planning? As the man said: " if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail". :shock:

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I thought I read that the deaths through starvation were in Iceland where the ash was thick enough to blanket the crops while here in the UK respiratory failure due to poisonous gas clouds was the biggest killer?

 

Bill :)

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Gosh :shock: I didn't see the programme and not sure if I want to watch it now after all your comments ... sounds scarey :shock:

 

Guess the problem with natural disaters are that they are just that... natural.. and as such no one can really predict what what will happen or when. Could be in 1 year, could be in 10 years, could be in 100 years, or could be in 1000 years.

 

How on earth do you prepare for that and if the government (or whoever) spend money on preparing for it now if it does happen in 10 or 100 years time their preparations will have either been overruled, slagged off as incompetent and ridiculous... or just completely forgotten about :?

 

Should we all be stockpiling food and digging deep bunkers :shock:

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I think we're unprepared for any of the possible "natural" disasters that may befall us, and it's a fair question to ask "can we be prepared" and "would the cost balance probability etc"? EG: we wern't "prepared" for the Winter ice, but was it a one off, that won't occur for a long time? we wern't really prepared to isolate and contain the swine flu to it's Mexican origin; but fortunately it turned out to be a non-fatal virus. One thing these incidents appear to expose, is our dependency on movement, of people or resources, and just how fragile our veneer of civilzation is. :shock:

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