Volcano Warning

A volcano warning and ash fall advisory remains in effect for Mt. Redoubt in Alaska which has been erupting since Sunday. Several airlines cancelled flights in and out of Anchorage yesterday, due to the risk of significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere. For Alaska residents the good news is that volcanic eruption is a covered cause of loss under homeowners and business insurance policies in the United States. Even though many volcanoes with the potential to erupt are located where they can cause major damage and losses, interest in the volcanic threat remains low. The 2008 Hazard and Risk Science Review from Benfield and Partner Re points to the risk posed by the plumes of volcanic ash, aerosols and gases that enter the atmosphere during moderately to highly explosive eruptions. “Not only do these plumes interfere with air transport routes and damage aircraft, but as they settle out of the atmosphere they may also blanket large areas, affecting business, power supply, the built environment, transport and health.† It also notes that volcanic eruptions, like other low frequency hazardous events are difficult to forecast because development of sound statistical eruption models has been significantly limited by the lack of detailed eruption data that span several thousand years. The May 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens was the most catastrophic in U.S. history. Check out I.I.I.  volcano facts  and stats.

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