• Question: Can you stop a volcano from erupting?

    Asked by wishqueen to James V on 4 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: James Verdon

      James Verdon answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      Hi wishqueen,

      I’m afraid there is nothing we can do to stop a volcano from eruption. The forces involved are simply far too large for us to deal with. The levels of energy in an eruption may be as much as the equivalent of 20,000 nuclear bombs, far too much for us to be able to stop!!

      We try to predict when volcanoes erupt – often there may be a swarm of small earthquakes leading up to the eruption. If we think a volcano is about to blow, all we can do is evacuate the area and move anyone nearby to a safe place.