University experts warn of super volcano threat

19 March 2005 | 12:11 Code : 4819 Geoscience events
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EXPERTS from Coventry University have launched an investigation into the havoc a 'super eruption' would wreak in the UK.
EXPERTS from Coventry University have launched an investigation into the havoc a 'super eruption' would wreak in the UK.

Following the broadcast of BBC Television drama Supervolcano this week, experts from the university's Centre for Disaster Management have revealed how such a super eruption would devastate life in Britain.

Supervolcano was a fictional drama of events following a super eruption in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, USA.

Geologists across the world have warned Governments of the risks of such an eruption, which occur about once in every 100,000 years.

Experts claim a super eruption - the equivalent of a one and half kilometre diameter asteroid hitting the Earth - would result in a 'volcanic winter,' leading to mass starvation and disease.

Geologists have urged Governments to prepare for a super eruption in a similar way to a nuclear war.

And experts from Coventry University's Centre for Disaster Management have praised the BBC drama for highlighting the danger.

Dr Eleanor Park said recent disasters - including the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Asian tsunami - had showed how important it was for Governments to expect the unexpected.

"The consequences for the UK of a super eruption include prolonged food shortages, unpredictable weather and chronic health problems, and must at least be acknowledged as possible threats," Dr Parker added.

A report by the UK's Geological Society has identified over 30 sites across the world where super eruptions have occurred.

The crater from the last super eruption, 640,000 years ago, was large enough for Tokyo, the world's largest city, to fit in.

tags: QAZVIN


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