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Volcanic Activity Rises Worldwide

On Thursday the Indonesian government placed 11 volcanoes oneruption watch, as volcanism continued to increaseworldwide and especially in the Indian Ocean area. On April12 alone, there was activity recorded at asurprisingly large number of volcanoes. Mt. St. Helens inthe US, Canlaon in the Phillipines, Chikurachki and Ebko inthe Kurile Islands, Colima in Mexico, Karymysky, Shiveluchand Kliuchevskoi on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Hawaii'sKilauea, Reventador and Tungurahua in Equador, Ulawun inPapaua New Guinea and Villarrica in Chile all showed signsof activity ranging from earthquake levels above the normthat suggest lava flow, to eruptive activity. On a normalday, activity will be noted at four or five volcanoes aroundthe world.

An estimated 30,000 people fled the eruption of Mount Talangon Sumatra on April 11, and Krakatau, Tangkuban Perahu,Mount Merapi and others in Indonesia were all showingeruptive sighs. The Lake Toba supervolcano is also showingincreased earth tremors, indicating that the gigantic magmapool beneath it is in motion. It is the world's largestsupervolcano, and a full scale eruption would be thegreatest disaster in human history.

There is controversy among scientists about whether or notcurrent volcanic activity is related to the worldwideincrease in earthquake intensity and frequency that hastaken place recently, and some even question whether or notanything unusual is taking place.

However, the fact remains that both increased volcanic andearthquake activity are a planetary phenomenon at this time,and studying them seperately and in regional context is notnecessarily an appropriate way to understand them.

On December 31, Unknowncountry.com suggested that theremight be an increase in volcanic activity following themassive December 26 Indian Ocean earthquake. For that story,click here.

For the latest reports of worldwide volcanic activity,clickhere. Please note that reports can appear days or weeksafter the event, because many volcanos are in isolated areasand are not under consistent observation.

Is the increase in earthquake activity related to what'shappening in the environment? Scientists don't know theanswer to that one. Readthe bookby Whitley and Art that started it all, as well as inspiredthe hit movie The Day After Tomorrow! It now availableexclusively from us in the classic hardcover edition--at asoftcover price.

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