USGS volcano hazards program saved lives


  • Susan Bush


Rapid response to potentially disastrous volcanic eruptions at Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines was one of the major recent accomplishments of the U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Although about 300 lives were lost, early alert systems can be credited with saving the lives of about 200,000 residents who were successfully evacuated.

Coordinated by Peter W. Lipman of USGS, Menlo Park, Calif., the goal of the Volcano Hazards Program is to reduce the loss of life, property, and natural resources that can result from volcanic eruptions, the threat of eruptions, and related geologic and hydrologic events.