What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

El Misti threatens 100,000 people

May 17, 2009, 11:37 PM


El Misti in Peru, as seen from Arequipa.

As I like to remind people concerning volcanic hazards, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. This is not to imply we can prevent volcanic hazards from affecting us, but rather that proper mitigation in the form of monitoring, planning, education and practice can save countless lives (and dollars) when a volcano erupts. Officials in Peru seem to believe this, as they recently ran for practice evacuations for residents around El Misti, in the southern part of the country. Jersy Mariño from the Instituto Geológico, Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET) says that upwards of 100,000 people living around the volcano (in spanish) could be in harms' way when El Misti erupts again. So, officials and residents have taken part in evacuation drills to be able to (a) know what to do if a real evacuation is needed and (b) find deficiencies in the current mitigation plan. This goes with the recent volcanic hazards map prepared for the volcano.

El Misti last erupted in 1985 and tends to produce explosive eruptions and pyroclastic flows. Most eruptions are in the VEI 1-2 range, although an eruption ~80 B.C. is believed to be closer to a VEI 4, suggesting that El Misti is clearly capable of large eruptive events. The danger El Misti poses is amplified by the fact that the city of Arequipa, population of over 1,000,000, is only 17 km / 10.5 miles from the summit of the volcano. Just looking at the topography around the volcano shows that most large flows - pyroclastic or lahars - will be funneled towards the greater Arequipa area. The more that can be done to prepare the area for El Misti's next eruption, the less likely a true disaster might occur.

 

El Misti threatens 100,000 ...

Newsletter: Share: