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Picture Source: US Geological Survey

    The risk from volcanoes, geographically, is well known. Several areas in the world contain active and dormant volcanoes. The Pacific rim contains several active volcanoes. We see here the risk pattern for the 48 states of the continental US. Almost al l events have been confined to the Pacific states. The most recent explosion of significance was the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state.

    Mitigation strategies in volcanoes include early warning systems and evacuation. Today, there generally are several investigations regarding the dormancy status of volcanoes. These are undertaken to identify any changes that may warrant preventive actio n. While geologists in Monteserrat were not able to predict when the volcano on that island would erupt, they were able to identify a markedly increased risk for eruption. On the basis of this information, island authorities and the British government r ecommended the evacuation of much of the island. Efforts such as this will likely mean that the odds for another disaster on the scale of that in Pompeii will be significantly diminished.