Risk management issues in tourist regions with explosive volcanism: The Teide's 2004 unrest, Canary Islands

Ramon Ortiz Ramis, Jose Manuel Marrero, Alicia García, Angeles Llinares, Victor Melo


Volcanic crisis management in small and densely populated islands is extremely complex. Preparedness 15 is critical to give an adequate response to volcanic unrest and reduce economic losses. However, such preparedness takes time, and involves a variety of groups of people and institutions, sometimes not only because of the requirements of knowledge with respect to self-protection but also because people must be made to change their understanding of the environment. Experience is vital if preparedness is to be improved meaning that the society at risk and the institutions involved in the management 20 sometimes have to face eruptive process. A key factor here is the magnitude and behavior of eruptive events, how these are understood by people and decision-makers, plus the ability to use them as real- life drills. Lower-medium magnitude eruptive events may help to better understand how these natural processes work but may give the impression that such events are easy to manage. Large eruptive events without preparedness can be catastrophic, and may be arduous to recover from as a result. The 25 idiosyncrasy of the society at risk plays a significant role here, thus improvements vary worldwide.
In the present study, we address the initial situation in Tenerife (The Canary Islands) in 2004 and the local people's resulting response, while addressing other situations such as the pressure exerted by 1 international tour-operators or the tourist industry in general, the conflicting views of the scientists and how these affected the people, together with an overview of the management of the seismic catalog in 30 the Canary Islands as a key factor in volcanic crisis management. Current achievements will be compared to the situation given in 2004.


Volcanic risk management; people response; Tenerife; Teide; Canary Islands

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-7698

Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X