Valuable lessons learned from erupting volcanoes. Are you prepared for the next random blast?
Town residents had to use brooms to sweep up piles of pyroclastic dust and tiny pebbles of hot rock after Italy’s most killer volcano Mount Etna erupted on the last day of February.
The mammoth volcano spans 22-miles at its base and skyscrapers 11,050 feet above the sea, making it hard to miss in the Sicilian landscape. And as of late, the fiery monster has been spewing gas, lava, soot, dust, and even chunks of rock, signifying that the half-a-million-year-old beast has once again awakened.
Etna erupted 6 times over an 8-day span that started mid-month. By the end of the month, pebbles fell from the sky following an eruption that shook the mountain.
In fact, the eruption was so powerful that local streets, homes, and businesses were blanketed with ejecta. Sky News reports: “Residents use brooms to sweep up ash from Mount Etna’s volcanic eruption, which coated streets and cars in a nearby village.”
Another video posted on Twitter by Jan Groenen shows pebbles raining down from the sky onto a nearby town. One person in the video could be seen running for cover as the muddy mess thickened.
Luckily, the rain solidified most of the dust. The volcanic powder from an eruption is known to solidify if taken into the lungs. This is why masks and other ventilation methods are crucial for both bugging out and bugging in.
During the blast, a cloud of ash billowed into the sky and blew downwind covering everything in its path including wildlife and people.
The effects of volcanic ash can be dangerous in many ways. The tiny jagged particles can be detrimental to aircraft engines which could lead to failure.
Additionally, ash is abrasive and can cause harm to human health.
“An ashfall that leaves a thick layer of ash may cause roofs to collapse, clog gutters, and interfere with air conditioning units,” National Geographic points out in an informational piece on volcanic ash. “Animals in an area coated by volcanic ash may have difficulty finding food, as the plants in the region may be covered in ash.”
Moreover, ash can contaminate water supplies. This is why having a good water filtration system makes sense. After an eruption, sometimes finding drinkable water in the city or the wild can be a challenge. That’s why it’s best to be prepared in advance of a disaster.
What would happen if the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted?
If the caldera under Yellowstone National Park were to erupt, the effects would be devastating. It would be a massive disaster, to say the least.
According to a report out of Vox: “The main damage would come from volcanic ash — a combination of splintered rock and glass — that was ejected miles into the air and scattered around the country.”
“A super-eruption could conceivably bury the northern Rockies in three feet of ash — devastating large swaths of Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, and Utah,” the piece explains. “Meanwhile, the Midwest would get a few inches of ash, while both coasts would see even smaller amounts.”
A thousand-mile swath of the United States would be covered in ten feet of ash which would make 70% of the country uninhabitable and turn the air unbreathable. Planes would remain grounded and most internal combustion engines wouldn’t operate.
And although most Americans would likely attempt to head east, heading south into Mexico or possibly north into Canada may be a better option to increase your chances of survival as most of the ash will blow downwind from ground zero. The question is: If and when the time comes will Mexico and Canada leave their doors open to Americans?
If a major eruption were to occur, Human life and wildlife living inside zones 1, 2, and 3, would likely not survive. This would create a logistical nightmare for emergency response crews.
To boot, the fallout in zone 4 will make it tough for humans and animals to survive. However, people and animals in zones 5 and 6 may have a fighting chance if they act quickly before taking too much ash into their lungs.
Are you and your loved ones prepared? Just some food for thought.