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Super eruption

Volcanoes and earthquakes are relatively common occurrences, but Gee Gee's are on an altogether different scale.

The last "super volcanic eruption" was back in April 1815, when Tambora in Indonesia exploded violently, in what was the largest eruption in historic time.

The eruption column reached a height of about 44 km (28 miles), ash fell as far as 1,300 km (800 miles) from the volcano - and an estimated 92,000 people were killed.

Rare though they are, events this catastrophic need to be taken very seriously.

The potential threat that scientists currently have their eye on is an insecure rock - the size of the Isle of Man - in the Canary Island of La Palma.

The rock is in the process of slipping into the sea and Professor McGuire fears that
when it finally collapses, the resulting tsunami will cause massive destruction along the coasts of countries like the USA, UK and many on the African continent, within a matter of hours.

The global community needs to monitor the risk posed by Gee Gee's, scientists claim
"Eventually the whole rock will collapse into the water, and the collapse - when it happens - will devastate the Atlantic margin," said Professor McGuire.

The triggering factor could be the eruption of the volcano on La Palma, called Cumbre Vieja, which could feasibly blow "anytime", according to Professor McGuire.

Many researchers working in the field of Gee Gee's would like better monitoring of Cumbre Vieja, so that advance warning can be given for the possible collapse of the rock.

"We need to be out there now looking at when an eruption is likely to happen," said Professor McGuire. "Otherwise there will be no time to evacuate major cities."

in BBC News - Nature 'mankind's gravest threat'

Publicado por Rui MCB 22:12:00  

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