6 noteworthy things to preserve yourself when watching volcanoes
Long time ago, admiring volcanic eruptions has been an exciting activity for visitors around the world. Despite the dangers, thousands of people flock to the Hawaiian Islands, Virunga National Park or Bandung in Indonesia to watch volcanoes. Information about the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii that has been operating in recent days has created contradictions.
In addition to the fear, it is the excitement and eagerness to admire an amazing natural phenomenon. If you are preparing for a volcanic voyage, be sure to master the safety rules to protect yourself.
Understanding the information
The nature of volcanic eruptions is not the same. Depending on the time of the eruption, it may be "mild" or "severe" or "extremely dangerous". Not whenever and in any mountain you can also reach or stay long to admire the eruption. Therefore, before the trip you need to thoroughly know the information about the eruption forecast to avoid danger to yourself.
For information on volcanic activity, see "Global Volcanism" of the Smithsonian Institution and “Volcano Hazards” of the United States Geological Survey. In addition, you should also find out information from local scientists, experts and guides. Those who can provide invaluable insights that you do not find in books or the Internet.
Viewing and memorizing maps
Look carefully at the maps; clearly identify the major roads, small circuits and the fastest escape routes around the mountain. Memorize emergency relief locations, save phone numbers of local search and rescue services.
Preparing safety clothing
Going to see the volcano is certainly not the same as you go to the sea or go for a normal mountain. Travel clothing in this case is also quite different. Depending on whether you are visiting volcanoes in Hawaii, Erta Ale (Ethiopia), Yasur (Tanna Island) or Tangkunban Perahu (Indonesi), there are options to choose the right outfit. You will need a pair of sturdy shoes to walk on rocky roads, thick clothes, good gloves, a helmet and goggles to keep dust out. Also, you should always bring water and respirator.
Following the safety rules
You should only visit volcanic spots that are allowed. Do not try to find another point of view. These sites will have emergency relief services, which are safer than those that are not allowed. While watching the volcano you need to strictly adhere to the safety rules and warning signs. Do not get too close to the melting lava without the instructor's guidance.
Staying away from the "lava" bombs
The "lava bombs" can shoot in the air at any time. They hit high with loud bangs and fired hot lava around. It is a spectacular sight that can cause you to stop breathing when witnessed.
However, you need to remember that volcanic fluctuations in each eruption are not the same. There is no standard to determine the speed and the danger of these explosions. There is no standard for safe distance to watch volcanoes. In case you are a bold tourist who wants to come close to admire this scene, you should hide behind a large rock. Additionally, you should wear a head helmet and run fast in case of danger.
Paying attention to the lava flow
While most travelers are looking to Kilauea (Hawaii), heading for the Jaggar Museum to watch the eruption of the volcano, others choose to walk on cool lava flows that have formed over the years.
If you choose the second option, find out information from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Web site and ask the local forest rangers about the actual situation. You should only watch these flows when they are really safe.
By: Mithrine Smith