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Volcano disaster highlights need for geohazard research and mitigation

Publication date: Mar 21, 2006 5:25:34 PM

Major humanitarian crises such as Mount Nyiragongo could be averted by geohazard prediction and planning currently being undertaken by researchers at the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at UCL, Europe's leading multidisciplinary academic hazard research centre.

The work of the centre concentrates on predicting volcanic eruptions by monitoring a volcano's 'vital signs' such as gas emissions and seismic activity and disaster management following major eruptions. The centre comprises three groups: Geological Hazards, Meteorological and Space Hazards and Disaster Management and provides a conduit for the transfer of cutting edge natural hazard and risk research, practice and innovation from the academic environment to the business world and government and international agencies.

Through the rapid application of new research and practice, the centre facilitates the improvement of natural hazard and risk assessment and the reduction of exposure to natural catastrophes.

Professor Bill McGuire, an expert volcanologist and Director of the BGHRC, is available for expert comment and interview.