To What Extent Can Preparedness and Planning Mitigate the Effects of Volcanic Hazards

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To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of volcanic hazards? (40 Marks) A volcanic hazard is any threat to life and infrastructure due to volcanic activity and related situations such as a landslide near the volcano. There are many different types of volcanic hazard and each can have different impacts on the economy, society and environment in a region. It is extremely important that disaster reduction measures, such as early warning systems and land use planning, are implemented to try to reduce these impacts. There are three main stages to consider when managing a volcano: before the eruption, during its critical period and evacuation. By planning and being prepared it is possible to reduce the impact volcanic eruptions have on the lives of humans. However, it is very difficult to manage the impacts of volcanic eruptions directly because of the sheer force and unpredictability of volcanoes. Therefore, it is only to a small extent that preparedness and planning can mitigate the effects of volcanic hazards. Preparedness and planning is vital to aid the mitigation of volcanic hazards before an eruption. Despite this, it is unlikely that people can ever be fully prepared for an eruption and, therefore, it is unlikely to effectively mitigate volcanic hazards. Before an eruption there are number of ways to prepare and plan for a volcanic hazard. The most obvious is the prediction of volcanic eruptions, for example, seismic shock waves were used to predict an eruption 48 hours in advance, which resulted in the evacuation of the local population around Popocatepetl, Mexico, in 2000. The development of methods to predict volcanic eruptions is particularly important to provide information for the evacuation of populated regions. A prediction is a precise statement including the area that will erupt, when it will erupt and the hazards that may
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