The world's worst volcano

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I'm a bit behind, but the January 2001 edition of Future Survey contains a fascinating summary of Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions (Amazon US, UK) which is a reminder of how devastating wild card events can be:

The greatest eruption known to history was a volcano named Tambora in the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia, which exploded in 1815, killing perhaps 70,000 people outright, as well as several hundred thousand victims of starvation and disease worldwide in the months that followed. In North America, 1816 became known as "the year without a summer" because of snowstorms and killing frosts in June, July, and August, resulting from great quantities of dust and gases in the atmosphere.

The reviewer adds: "The mega-eruption possibility, although small, seems greater than that of a large asteroid striking earth, which has attracted far more attention." Keep an eye on the Smithsonian/US Geological Survey's Weekly Volcanic Activity Report...

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I think its awesome that you see that this is a disaster and needs to be talk about and recognised, as it was an awful event. Those people were burnt to death.

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