Until recently, people living in a volcano's shadow had little help anticipating an eruption. A major volcanic event might strike with no warning at all. In the past 300 years, volcanic eruptions, most of them unexpected, have killed more than 250,000 people. In 2000, experts estimated that 500 million people were living in areas at risk from catastrophic volcanic eruptions. This media-rich essay from NOVA Online describes the strides scientists have made in eruption forecasting in recent years and explores why accurately predicting volcanic events remains difficult.
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