Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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Part I - Chapter 3
Figure 3.29 Satellite image of the Naples area
(Source: GAR 13 paperGVM, 2014a

GAR13 Reference GVM (Global Volcano Model). 2014a,Global Volcanic Hazards and Risk, Summary background paper. Background Paper prepared for the 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR.
Click here to view this GAR paper.
Relatively small countries, such as SIDS (Figure 3.30), have the highest proportion of their populations exposed to volcanic hazard.
However, given that most volcano-related mortality has occurred in a small number of eruptions, volcanic disaster risk is highly idiosyncratic and difficult to model. For example, the relatively modest eruption of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia in 1985 resulted in the death of more than 23,000 people in towns up to 45 km away as a result of lahars.
Despite population growth, the number of fatalities per eruption has declined dramatically in
the last few decades, suggesting that mortality has been reduced thanks to improved volcano monitoring, hazard assessment and awareness, early warning, forecasts, communication and preparedness around specific volcanoes. In fact, it is estimated that such measures have saved about 50,000 lives over the last century (Auker et al., 2013

Auker, M.R., R.S.J. Sparks, L. Siebert, H.S. Crosweller and J.A. Ewert. 2013,A statistical analysis of the global historical volcanic fatalities record, Journal of Applied Volcanology, 2:2 (February).. .
). However, some “high exposure” volcanoes remain unmonitored. For example, there are 5.7 million people living within 10 km of Mexico’s Michoacán-Guanajuato volcanic field, which currently has no dedicated ground monitoring system.
Economic loss risk from volcanic eruption
Volcanic eruptions are associated with increasingly large economic impacts. For example, the losses from the November 2010 eruption of Merapi in Indonesia are estimated at US$3.12 billion (Surono et al., 2012

Surono, Philippe Jousset, John Pallister, Marie Boichu, M. Fabrizia Buongiorno, Agus Budisantoso, Fidel Costa, Supriyati Andreastuti, Fred Prata, David Schneider, Lieven Clarisse, Hanik Humaida, Sri Sumarti, Christian Bignami, Julie Griswold, Simon Carn, 2012,The 2010 explosive eruption of Java’s Merapi volcano—A ‘100-year’ event, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vols. 241-242 (October): 121-135.. .
). The 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajkull volcano in Iceland caused serious disruptions to air traffic in the North Atlantic and Europe as fine volcanic ash in the atmosphere drifted thousands of kilometres from the volcano. The resulting global economic losses from this modest-sized eruption accumulated to about US$1.7 billion for the aviation industry alone (UNISDR, 2013a

UNISDR. 2013a,Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: From Shared Risk to Shared Value: the Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR.. .
) and have been estimated to reach a total of US$5 billion including the effects on global businesses and supply chains (Ragona et al., 2011

Ragona, M., F. Hannstein and M. Mazzocchi. 2011,The Financial Impact of the Volcanic Ash Crisis on the European Airline Industry, Chapter 3. In:Governing Disasters: The Challenges of Emergency Risk Regulation, A. Alemanno, ed. Ed-ward Elgar Publishing.. .
Volcanic ash is the most widespread of all volcanic hazards. Volcanic eruptions generate convective plumes of gas, ash and rock fragments which can spread over hundreds of kilometres, depending on the size of the eruption and the speed and direction of prevailing winds. Depending on the intensity of volcanic ash fall (i.e. from 1 mm to 200 mm) and the exposed environment, impacts may be diverse and range from traffic and aviation disruption to health problems, soil and water contamination, crop failure, damage to machinery, and collapsing roofs.
volcanic hazard is concentrated in six countries: Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Italy. Around two-thirds of the total exposed population is concentrated in Indonesia.
For example, in Naples, Italy (Figure 3.29), over 2 million people live in close proximity to three active volcanoes (Vesuvius, Campi Flegrei and Ischia).
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