THE EDITOR: The eruption threat of the mud volcano facing residents of Piparo is a very serious one. According to the scientists monitoring the volcano, there could be a repeat of the 1997 eruption which was disastrous for residents living within close proximity.
It has been said that after much rumblings there was a lull in activity and then suddenly there was a big eruption which saw mud being thrown as high as 200 feet in the air. That had to be quite violent for mud (which is a heavy substance) to reach so high. Some houses were even covered by the mud.
Experts have tested the release of gases in the atmosphere and indicated there wasn’t a high level of concentration to cause physical harm to those living close by. The real danger here is not the gases but mud flow which has the potential to cover houses, cars and even cause the death of humans.
Taking all the facts into consideration it is definitely a very volatile situation which could have debilitating effects on Piparo residents. This is an event which just cannot be predicted with 100 per cent accuracy.
We can predict the time of impact and force of a hurricane because we can see its progress. It is visible. However, the development of an underground disaster waiting to happen cannot be monitored accurately, thus making it very unpredictable. It can happen overnight.
As a result of the previous experience with the eruption of this particular mud volcano, it would be wise for the authorities to insist on the evacuation of all residents within a 500m radius until the threat is over.
The political authorities are toying with the lives of people by just setting up police and army camps to monitor and move people if and when an eruption occurs. At that point the horse would have already bolted.
As is done by developed and First World countries, if people refuse to move then a mandatory evacuation must be implemented and transportation and shelter provided for the evacuees. This is why those countries are ahead of the game in the first place.
The Ministry of National Security must also ensure that people’s properties are well secured and safe in their absence.
I call on the authorities concerned to wake up and do what they were elected to do. Serve the people and stop being a bystander.