Sunday, 2 November 2008

Mud eruption 'caused by drilling'

Experts have said the eruption of the Lusi mud volcano in Indonesia was caused by drilling for oil and gas. Lusi erupted in May 2006 and continues to spew out boiling mud. For two years, the crater has been oozing mud - enough to fill 50 Olympic size swimming pools every day!!. It was triggered by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake 30,000 people had to be moved out of the area. The geologists voted overwhelmingly that drilling was the most likely cause but not everyone agreed. We are still learning about these matters. You might ask whether the cause is important or not. YES. If the drillers caused it then they are liable for compensating 10,000 families, amounting to 700 billion Indonesian Rupias (£47m).
If the earthquake was responsible, then the Indonesian government will have the burden of supporting the victims. Indonesia is a poor country. However, despite the vote, the drilling firm denies that its activities were in any way responsible for the disaster.
How to stop a volcano erupting.
Watch this video to show what is going on in Indonesia. Do you think this is worth while or a waste of time and effort as well as money?
Is this disaster natural or man made? I was at a conference last Saturday in a very wet and windy Edinburgh and attended a talk by Dr Ian Stewart on exactly this matter. This is also what I have been talking about in class to S2 and saying that this is one of the reasons I love Geography. We, as humans, think we are so smart and then we cause these disasters and Mother Nature “puts us in our place”. These are awful events but it is interesting to see what will happen in the future when people are perhaps forced to live in more marginal and “difficult” environments. Does global warming mean more people will have to take calculated risks on where they live or do we not have a choice any more? Enough philosophising – I’ve got marking to do.

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