“Whenever there is an eruption, the authority uses a pen to scratch a circle on a map, and define in a fast way which areas should be evacuated. That improvisation involves economic and social costs, because often there is some overstate or calculation fails. From now on, the management of a crisis can be done based on a hazard map, made by volcanologists experts on the subject”, said the director of the National Service of Geology and Mining (Sernageomin), Rodrigo Álvarez Seguel, in the session to announce the decision to publish the entire volcanic hazard maps of Chile.
The digital cartography, published on the website www.sernageomin.cl, identifies exposed areas to direct and indirect effect of possible volcanic eruptions through different forms and scales of representation that distinguish each of the possible processes during an eruption, and propose a simple and integrated zoning. Although some maps are not drawn to land planning use, it aims to be a contribution to the management of any “crisis”. It means, those events where there is high uncertainty about the eruptive scenarios and their impacts; and high pressure on the authorities in charge of making decisions.
Rodrigo Álvarez Seguel explained that “it doesn”t make any sense to have this information gathering dust on the offices shelves. No one should be surprise to know the fact that Chile has 2000 volcanoes; and that 91 of them are active; and that since the first administration of President Bachelet, the State monitors them with the finest technological equipment, to know in real time what their situation are. Our decision to publish this technical information is to make the information clear and democratic, because we understand that every citizen of Chile must know that are living in an area where volcanism and other phenomena should not be subject to disturbance or panic, but an incentive to become informed and develop a closer awareness about nature”.
The Director added that “a few days ago we published the ranking of active volcanoes, and today we are delivering our hazard maps. From now on, we will continue to publish regular information because our interest is, running in the possible line, to learn how to act more intelligently facing to this reality”.