IDNDR - IAVCEI - 1990/2000

The Decade volcano project, are an IAVCEI contribution to the International Decade of Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR).

Each project involves intensive, international, interdisciplinary work to improve and demonstrate tools for volcanic disaster prevention. Intensive to adress urgent problems at 16 high-risk volcanoes before another volcanic disaster can occur. International, to introduce new tools and throught paradigms complementing those of the local scientific team. And interdisciplinary, to achieve the exciting synergism that results when colleagues with varied expertise work together on a common problem.

Volcanoes that have been nominated by their host countries for Decade Volcano projects, and endorsed by IAVCEI are :

- Avachinsky-Koriaksky (Russia)
- Sakurajima (Japan) Colima (Mexico)
- Santa Maria (Guatemala) Etna (Italy)
- Santorini (Greece) Galeras (Colombia)
- Taal ( Philippines) Mauna Loa (U.S.A.)
- Ulawun (Papua-New Guinea) Merapi (Indonesia)
- Unzen (Japan) Mount Rainier (U.S.A.)
- Vesuvius (italia) and Nyiragongo ( ex. Zaire)

Each of these designated volcanoes has a combination of population at risk, volcanic unrest, Scientific infrastructure and national commitment that make it a good place in which to focus work..

* Small selection of the accomplishments of Decade Volcano



Petropavlovsk ( Kamchatka) - H.Gaudru - Copyright


Icelandic volcano spotlights need for global disaster risk reduction plans – UN official

22 April 2010 – The recent eruption of a volcano in Iceland, which grounded flights in Europe for nearly one week, has exposed the world's vulnerability to such disruptive events and underscored the need for global plans to minimize fallouts in the future, a top United Nations official said today. “We only realize how disruptive hazards can be when they have already happened,” said Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Reduction. Even though air travel is starting to pick up again, thousands of passengers continue to be affected, and the threat of further eruptions means even more delays are possible. The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) is calling on European Governments to integrate volcano risk into their air travel policies and legislation. Through the Hyogo Framework for Action – a 10-year plan to make the world safer from disasters triggered by natural hazards adopted by 168 governments in 2005 – the agency is endeavouring to ensure greater coordination between authorities and scientists. “This situation demonstrates that it is important to have international and regional contingency plans, in addition to local or national ones, to assess volcano risks,” Ms. Wahlström stressed. Although the recent eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano was relatively smaller than others in the past, it caused chaos on a massive scale, according to ISDR. Had other volcanoes in Europe – including Italy's Vesuvius and Iceland's much bigger Katla – erupted today, they would have wreaked much more havoc than they did in the past, said Henri Gaudru, who heads the European Volcanologist Society, speaking at a ISDR briefing in Geneva. Scientists will meet in Tenerife, Canary Islands, next month to discuss how to manage crises in the midst of volcanoes, especially their impact on mega-cities.“As the Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines showed us in 1991, as well as other ones since then, volcano risks must urgently be considered for their huge economic and social impacts and be integrated in urban planning, early warning systems and preparedness plans,” said Ms. Wahlström.The International Air Transport Association has put losses stemming from European airport closures after the latest Iceland volcano eruption at nearly $2 billion, and the final economic toll is still being assessed. Earlier this week, the UN World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ) warned that while eruptions from the Icelandic volcano have recently ejected less ash, that could change at any time.The current high pressure system with weak winds does not help to disperse the ash cloud, but a stronger low pressure system is expected over Iceland towards the end of the week, changing the winds and pushing the cloud towards the Arctic, with accompanying rains resulting in a degree of “wash out” of ash at lower levels, it added. The WMO said the plume from volcano was now reaching less than 3,000 metres, with its whiteness suggesting it contains mainly steam and little ash. “However, the volcano is liable to revert to explosive eruptions at any time,” it added. Regarding public health, the ash has no effect except in the immediate vicinity of the volcano in Iceland, according to the UN World Health Organization ( WHO ).


Archive article about eruption - from Australian journal "Aviation"


Disaster and Risk Reduction ISDR genral guideline

INTRODUCTION - While hazards are inevitable, and the elimination of all risk is impossible, there are many technical measures, traditional practices, and public experience that can reduce the extent or severity of economic and social disasters. Hazards and emergency requirements are a part of living with nature, but human behaviour can be changed. In the words of the Secretary General, "We must, above all, shift from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention. Prevention is not only more humane than cure; it is also much cheaper... Above all, let us not forget that disaster prevention is a moral imperative, no less than reducing the risks of war".

VISION - To enable all communities to become resilient to the effects of natural, technological and environmental hazards, reducing the compound risks they pose to social and economic vulnerabilities within modern societies. To proceed from protection against hazards to the management of risk through the integration of risk prevention into sustainable development.

GOALS : I. Increase public awareness of the risks that natural, technological and environmental hazards pose to modern societies. II. Obtain commitment by public authorities to reduce risks to people, their livelihoods, social and economic infrastructure, and environmental resources. III. Engage public participation at all levels of implementation to create disaster-resistant communities through increased partnership and expanded risk reduction networks at all levels. IV. Reduce the economic and social losses of disasters as measured, for example, by Gross Domestic Product.

OBJECTIVES : 1. Stimulate research and application, provide knowledge, convey experience, build capabilities and allocate necessary resources for reducing or preventing severe and recurrent impacts of hazards, for those people most vulnerable. 2. Increase opportunities for organizations and multi-disciplinary relationships to foster more scientific and technical contributions to the public decision-making process in matters of hazard, risk and disaster prevention. 3. Develop a more proactive interface between management of natural resources and risk reduction practices. 4. Form a global community dedicated to making risk and disaster prevention a public value. 5. Link risk prevention and economic competitiveness issues to enhance opportunities for greater economic partnerships. 6. Complete comprehensive risk assessments and integrate them within development plans. 7. Develop and apply risk reduction strategies and mitigation measures with supporting arrangements and resources for disaster prevention at all levels of activity 8. Identify and engage designated authorities, professionals drawn from the widest possible range of expertise, and community leaders to develop increased partnership activities. 9. Establish risk monitoring capabilities, and early warning systems as integrated processes, with particular attention being given to emerging hazards with global implications such as those related to climate variation and change, at all levels of responsibility. 10. Develop sustained programmes of public information and institutionalized educational components pertaining to hazards and their effects, risk management practices and disaster prevention activities, for all ages. 11. Establish internationally and professionally agreed standards / methodologies for the analysis and expression of the socio-economic impacts of disasters on societies. 12. Seek innovative funding mechanisms dedicated to sustained risk and disaster prevention activities.

IMPLEMENTATION - Conduct a national audit or assessment process of existing functions necessary for a comprehensive and integrated national strategy of hazard, risk and disaster prevention, projected over 5-10 and 20 year time periods. Conduct dynamic risk analysis with specific consideration of demographics, urban growth, and the interaction or compound relationships between natural, technological and environmental factors. Build, or where existing, strengthen regional/sub-regional, national and international approaches, and collaborative organizational arrangements that can increase hazard, risk and disaster prevention capabilities and activities. Establish coordination mechanisms for greater coherence and improved effectiveness of combined hazard, risk and disaster prevention strategies at all levels of responsibility. Promote and encourage know-how transfer through partnership and among countries with particular attention given in the transfer of experience amongst those countries most exposed to risks. Establish national, regional/sub-regional, and global information exchanges, facilities, or websites dedicated to hazard, risk and disaster prevention, linked by agreed communication standards and protocols to facilitate interchange. Link efforts of hazard, risk and disaster prevention more closely with the Agenda 21 implementation process for enhanced synergy with environmental and sustainable development issues. Focus multi-year risk reduction strategies on urban concentration and mega-city environments. Institute comprehensive application of land-use planning and programmes in hazard prone-environments. Develop and apply standard forms of statistical recording of risk factors, disaster occurrences and their consequences to enable more consistent comparisons. Undertake periodic reviews of accomplishments in hazard, risk and disaster reduction efforts at all levels of engagement and responsibility. Study feasibility of specific alternative funding and resource allocation modalities that can ensure continued commitment to sustained risk and disaster prevention strategies.

RESPONSIBLE PARTIES - Governments have the primary responsibility for protecting citizens from risks and disaster, however, local communities and elements of civil society most threatened by hazards emerge as key initiators of important risk and disaster prevention actions. They must work through partnership, and together, receive necessary encouragement and support to realize the vision of disaster resilience. Regional/sub-regional and international collaboration is essential, especially with regard to the dissemination of experience and information, scientific and technical applications, continual advocacy and the coordination of strategies to assist in the development of national capabilities. The United Nations system has a special leadership role in global risk and disaster reduction by its universal character, inter-disciplinary and multi-sectoral scope, and role as a forum for global dialogue. It should address global risk issues, ensure coherence among humanitarian aid, disaster prevention and development, and promote collaboration among countries.

REVIEW - The strategy, A Safer World in the 21st Century: Risk and Disaster Reduction, should be closely monitored by the risk and disaster reduction community, and a global review of progress and accomplishments should be undertaken by all concerned parties within a period of five years.


UNISDR abstract for poster presented during the COV7 meeting in Colima - Mexico - November 2012

Plan For Major Advance In Global Disasters Risk Modelling
Henry Gaudru (1)

UNISDR’s global risk model first published in the 2009 Global Assessment Report has broken new ground in persuading the public and private sector of the economic and political imperative for investing in disaster risk reduction. It models average annual mortality and economic loss risk for tropical cyclones, floods, landslides, earthquakes and exposure for tsunamis and drought. The model was updated in 2011 to explore risk trends over time for geographic and economic regions. New versions will be developed and published progressively over the next four years. All the hazard models will be improved and other hazards such as volcanoes, wildfires and agricultural droughts will be progressively included. the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR, is to work with its partners over the next four years on developing a global disaster risk model which will provide the best information available on likely economic losses as climate change kicks in. The risk analysis will use probabilistic modelling techniques to provide enhanced estimations of economic loss risks for different return periods. Previous work on
resilience will also be enhanced using system modelling.




The Cities on Volcanoes conference series has the aim of bringing together all involved in volcanic risk: including the generation of the hazards, analysis of their impact, risk mitigation, education and studies of vulnerability. The idea is to motivate dialogue between earth scientists, social scientists, Civil Protection workers, insurance analysts, the general public, amongst others. Following on from the most recent conferences in Tenerife, Japan and Ecuador, the City of Colima played host to the 7th event of the series, with the University of Colima providing the necessary infrastructure. The conference was a huge success, not only with many splendid talks highlighting research being carried out in many areas, but also the social programme, and how it managed to rekindle the original inclusive aims of this particular meeting. In total 342 subscribed from 35 countries, with particularly large contingents from the UK and New Zealand. Local participation was estimated to include a further 200 people, meaning a total of about 550 participants.

Being situated on the extensive apron of debris avalanche deposits that originated from the most active volcano in Mexico, Colima was an obvious choice for a Cities on Volcanoes conference. Indeed, it is one of the most prolific producers of flank collapses anywhere. The volcano had only recent finished an eruptive period that lasted from 1998 until 2011. The motivation to submit a proposal was also fuelled by the proximity to an important anniversary: the last large eruption was in January of 1913 and the volcano has been through several cycles of an approximate 100 years repose period between Plinian or sub-Plinian events.

COV7 featured traditional academic sessions, but this was supplemented by a range of alternative activities such as open forums, where the microphone was offered to anyone who wanted to raise an issue, photographic and children's art competitions, and art and photography exhibitions. The forums were particularly successful with many interesting debates covering topics relevant both to the local and international community. The programme was supplemented by both pre- and post-excursions to a variety of volcanic regions in Mexico, including El Chichón, Paricutin and Jorullo, and Ceboruco and San Pedro. Two excursions were offered to the Colima Volcanic Complex, one to study debris avalanche deposits and the other an overview of evolution based upon evidence from tephrochronology, petrology and geochemistry. In addition a very popular traditional mid-conference excursion covered local communities to present the opportunity for interaction with the population and civil protection workers, as well as several stops that featured geology, an overview of recent eruptive activity and the influence of the volcano upon prehispanic cultures.

Workshops included one dedicated to monitoring techniques, another organized jointly by the Volcanic Ashfall Impacts Working Group and the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network, one to show the strengths of the VHub online network and the last on the critical subject of “Volcanic unrest: Interfacing science and decision-making”. All were well attended. A pre-conference workshop was also given to members of the local media. The idea here was to discuss terminology and the general concepts of volcanology and risk mitigation. The scientific programme consisted of 17 sessions which were divided amongst 4 symposia: Volcanoes and their hazards; Evaluating Volcanic Risk; Volcanic Risk Reduction in Developing Countries; Volcanoes, Society and Government. In total 372 presentations were made, roughly divided equally between posters and oral.

The cultural highlight was certainly a street party organized in the picturesque local village of Nogueras. Here participants had ample opportunity to sample local foods, drinks and watch dancing and listen to a Mariachi band. Many participants took the opportunity to meet the locals. Other tastes of local culture were provided by the local municipalities of both Colima and Villa de Alvarez.

Report prepared by Nick Varley - Universidad de Colima - Mexico

  SVE – UNISDR contact :


CITIES ON VOLCANOES 8 MEETING - Jogyakarta - September 9-13, 2014 - Final report

The eighth, biennial Cities on Volcanoes (CoV) conference was held recently in Yogyakarta, Indonesia from September 9-13, 2014. The CoV conference series aims to bring together geoscientists, emergency managers, social scientists, economists, city planners, engineers and educators to promote an exchange of ideas and stimulate dialogue on the generation of volcanic hazards, the vulnerability of exposed communities and risk mitigation. The conference theme this year ‘Living in Harmony with Volcano: Bridging the will of nature to society” sought to improve volcanic risk mitigation measures, land use planning and emergency management of densely populated volcanic regions. The conference was held in the Grha Sabha Pramana at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta and hosted by Indonesia’s Geological Agency (Badan Geologi), the local Government of Yogyakarta (special region), the local Government of Sleman Regency and Universitas Gadjah Mada. Support was provided by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s interior (IAVCEI), the Commission of Cities and Volcanoes (CaV), the Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), the Indonesian Association of Geologists and the Indonesian Association of Geophysicists. Indonesia is considered to the have the greatest volcanic eruption hazard in the Asia-Pacific region as it has experienced the highest frequency of VEI 4 or larger eruptions resulting in a loss of more than 100,000 lives over the last 200 years directly related to volcanic activity. It therefore seems appropriate that CoV8 be held in Yogyakarta, a city of population greater than three million located at the base of one of Indonesia’s most historically active volcanoes, Mount Merapi. The last major eruption of Mount Merapi occurred in 2010 and resulted in over 350 deaths. The hazards posed to communities surrounding the volcanoes are widespread and varying (e.g., lava dome and flow collapse, pyroclastic flows, volcanic ash, and lahars). Heavy annual rainfall events in the region contribute to the initiation of potentially deadly lahars, which occur frequently and in many cases during periods of volcanic repose. The opening ceremony was initiated by Muhamad Hendrasto, of the Badan Geologi, who welcomed visitors from around the world to the conference. Opening talks by were followed by a Javanese dance, entitled “Lereng Merapi”. Opening ceremony – UGM, Yogyakarta, September 9th 2014 Thematic sessions were organised into four major scientific and technical symposiums: 1) Volcanology; 2) Living in harmony; 3) Lessons learned from volcanic crises and 4) The Indonesian session. The conference was a great success receiving 507 contributions comprised of 4 plenary presentations, 273 oral and 234 poster presentations. In total, 552 delegates from 36 countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America) attended the conference. Contact - info - SVE-UNISDR :


CITIES ON VOLCANOES 10 - Napoli - 2 - 6 September 2018

The meeting Cities on Volcanoes 10 is finished, and in awaiting the final summary, a brief information :

The title of COV 10 was “Millennia of Stratification between Human Life and Volcanoes: strategies for coexistence” and focused the attention on the inherent resilience of human societies to volcanic risk, as millennia of coexistence with volcanoes prove that volcanic environments are fundamentally perceived as resources. At the same time, building and strengthening this resilience in modern and complex societies exposed to volcanic risk, especially on volcanoes with long periods of dormancy where risk is poorly perceived, is a great challenge. Abstracts volume of the meeting :

The first IAVCEI prize for monitoring and managing volcanic crises was awarded to the Indonesian PVMBG

Next meeting COV 11 will be held in Heraklion, Crete in 2021 from 23 to 27th of May (?)

Poster Napoli


Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) - The volcano that changed the course of disaster risk management

November 13, 1985 - In 2015 it's the 30th anniversary of the tragic eruption

The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, today described the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano which claimed 25,000 lives in Colombia on November 13, 1985, as “a major turning point in the history of disaster risk management.” In a statement to mark the 30th anniversary, Ms. Wahlström said: “The tragic failure to evacuate the towns of Armero, Chinchina and surrounding villages despite multiple warnings of volcanic activity led to an enormous loss of life and our sympathies today lie with the survivors and those families who lost loved ones in the terrible events that ensued from the eruption. “This catastrophe marked a turning point in Colombia and saw the introduction in 1989 of the National System for the Prevention of Disasters which represented an ambitious reform of disaster risk management in Colombia because the new policy not only embraced improved disaster management but also disaster risk reduction as a policy goal. “It introduced an innovative systems approach to risk governance: integrated horizontally across government ministries and departments, vertically across regional and local governments and with specified roles for scientific and technical institutions, the Red Cross and other non-governmental organisations.
“This is a model that is still valid today as we encourage Member States of the UN to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted in March this year which emphasises the importance of a paradigm shift from disaster management to disaster risk management in an era when extreme weather events are on the rise and economic losses from disasters are escalating. “The lesson from Colombia is that we need governments to take responsibility for early warnings and other elements of disaster risk management and to avoid the creation of risk in their planning and development activity if we are to succeed in getting substantial reductions in mortality, the numbers of people affected and economic losses from disasters.”
Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas (UNISDR AM)


2020 - Mount Saint Helens - 40th anniversary - Eruption 1980

Forty years ago, on May 18th, 1980, Mount St. Helens produced the largest observed eruption in the coterminus United States. This eruption had profound impacts on human life and the science of volcanology, as well as on hazard preparedness, communication, and forecasting.

Mount St. Helens is the most active volcano in the Cascade Range and 40 years ago, a large eruption redefined the field of volcanology. The activity started as a series of small earthquakes on 16 March 1980. By 17 May, after more than 10,000 detected earthquakes, a visible bulge had grown outward by 450 ft on the N flank. On the morning of 18 May, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake triggered a huge landslide, resulting in powerful explosions that ejected hot material above the volcano and laterally outwards to the north. Following the explosion, an eruption column rose more than 80,000 ft into the atmosphere, eventually resulting in heavy ashfall across 22,000 square miles. On the afternoon of 18 May, pyroclastic flows were generated in the crater, traveling as far as 5 miles N of the volcano. Hot rocks and gas melted the snow and ice on the volcano, which caused volcanic mudflows (lahars) to run into the river systems, destroying trees, roads, and bridges along the way.

During the summer and fall of 1980, five smaller explosions resulted in eruption columns and pyroclastic flows. Activity continued through 1986, which included the formation of a new lava dome, minor explosions, and lahars. Since the 1986 activity there have been several periods of increased seismicity and small explosions from the dome. ( from USGS)


United Nations - The Sendai Framework – a five year review

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is a set of agreed commitments for member states of the United Nations to act on the prevention of ‘new’ disasters and reduce existing disaster risk through the implementation of integrated and inclusive economic, structural, legal, social, health, cultural, educational, environmental, technological, political and institutional measures. They also seek to address issues that prevent and reduce hazard exposure and vulnerability to disasters, and increase preparedness for response and recovery, thereby strengthening resilience. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), is tasked to support the implementation, follow-up, and review of the Framework for member states. It is a successor of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, and the Sendai Framework compliments other 2030 agenda agreements including: The Paris Agreement on Climate Change, The Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. - Read more



IAVCEI NEWSLETTER - N°3 - Octobre 2020

IAVCEI newsletter - N°2 July 2020

IAVCEI newsletter - N°2 July 2021



Volcanoes and hazards assessment