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May 10 / Dave Schumaker

USGS: Volcano Risks in the United States

This was reported about a week ago, but the USGS has released a report ranking the threats various volcanoes pose to life and property in the United States and the need for a National Volcano Early Warning System: The United States has abundant volcanoes, and over the past 25 years the Nation has experienced a diverse range of the destructive phenomena that volcanoes can produce. Hazardous volcanic activity will continue to occur, and — because of increasing population, increasing development, and expanding national and international air traffic over volcanic regions — the exposure of human life and enterprise to volcano hazards is increasing. Fortunately, volcanoes exhibit precursory unrest that if detected and analyzed in time allows eruptions to be anticipated and communities at risk to be forewarned with reliable information in sufficient time to implement response plans and mitigation measures. The report is USGS Open-File Report 2005-1164 and can be downloaded from here.

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