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No Apparent Danger: The True Story of Volcanic Disaster at Galeras and Nevado Del Ruiz
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No Apparent Danger: The True Story of Volcanic Disaster at Galeras and Nevado Del Ruiz

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  114 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In 1985 in Columbia, more than 23,000 people died due to the government's failure to take seriously scientists' warnings about an imminent volcanic eruption at Nevado del Ruiz. In 1993, at Volcán Galeras, the death toll was smaller but no less tragic: despite seismic data that foretold possible disaster, an expedition of international scientists proceeded into the volcano. ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 19th 2002 by Harper Perennial
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Rebecca Huston
This was quite a read. Despite the length -- just over 200 pages -- this chronicle of the disastrous eruptions of two volcanoes in Colombia in the 1980's and 1990's is very well written and understandable for the lay person. Yes, there is some science in this one, but it is presented smoothly enough that it doesn't bog down the story. What is heartrending are the attitudes among scientists and politicians and sadly, the ordinary people who would pay the price for their arrogance. Geology nerds w ...more
Dee Bitner
Jul 30, 2015 Dee Bitner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Oh, my word. This book is not for the faint of heart. The author does not mince words when it comes to describing the injuries volcanic hazards can cause. Nor does she softball the anger of the people who survived the (minor!) eruption of Galeras in 1993 while nine of their friends and colleagues died.

The story centers on the Columbian geologists, especially Dr. Marta Calvache. It traces her involvement with various departments and companies in Columbia and then the tragedy of Nevada Del Ruiz an
...more
J.C.
Apr 11, 2015 J.C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A book that attempts to set the record straight with regards to the tragic events that occurred on the volcano Galeras (Columbia) in 1993. The book attempts to refute the story told by vulcanologist Stanley Williams in his book Surviving Galeras in which he claims that there was no advanced warning that the volcano was going to erupt on the day of the expedition to its crater and that there was no way to prevent the deaths of six scientists.

The narrative is decent, but not amazing and I feel lik
...more
Joy D
Apr 21, 2016 Joy D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Setting the record straight

This book provides a behind-the-scenes account of two Columbian volcanic eruptions. It is a stark reminder about the dangers in complacency. Unfortunately, much of the information communicated in the US news media about Galeras was based on one person's slanted perspective. The author has done a service in setting the record straight. The author manages the scientific material well, portraying it in easy-to-understand language. I learned a lot about the science of pred
...more
Amy
Sep 05, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
This book was completely fascinating! It's only about 200 pages and I loved every minute of it. At parts of it, I think the author forgot that the average reader wasn't a member of the geologist/volcanologist/chemist/seismologist community. It got a wee bit technical when it talked about the throat, cone, crater etc. areas of a volcano. I needed a drawing of the different volcano's just to get a visual (none is provided of course, but it would have been TOTALLY helpful). But overall the text is ...more
Julie
May 01, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, geology
Victoria Bruce pieces together eye-witness accounts of two tragic volcano disasters in Colombia. First are the accounts of the eruption of Nevado del Ruiz in 1985 in which mudflows killed over 23,000 people in the surrounding area. The second part of this book details the 1993 eruption of Volcán Galeras which took the lives of nine people (including six scientists) who were in the crater at the time.

Whether or not you’re a geologist (I'm a geologist though, so maybe I'm biased), I think you’ll f
...more
Felicity
This is three different stories, interwoven because that's how the world is; the mismanaged volcanic crisis at Colombia's Nevado del Ruiz in 1985, the totally avoidable deaths (largely of scientists) at the Colombian volcano Galeras in 1993, and finally the fallout in the scientific community. While the stories are fascinating and sad in their own right, prepare to be very, very angry; first at the bickering, political maneuvering and poverty that cost lives; and secondly, at the face-saving, cr ...more
Spin2Knit
Apr 22, 2016 Spin2Knit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written account

This well written account of tragic events is a worthy read. It exposes how the incompetence of a few, be it governmental or individual, can snuff the lives of people. Governmental screw ups resulted in 23000+ deaths. The actions of one egocentric man resulted in the deaths of 9 of fellow scientists. Hopefully this book will help place credit for scientific advances in volcanology where it belongs, with those who worked and discovered.
Katie
Apr 18, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting read. Made me want to learn more about volcanoes.
Gary Braham
Jan 28, 2010 Gary Braham rated it really liked it
This book is a narrative of the Nevado Del Ruiz eruption, and the eruption at Galeras, both in Columbia.

The study of both these eruptions is a fascinating look at what volcanology is really like, and the scienctific, as well as political and personal decisions and traits that go into studying a volcano and trying to protect the public (and volcanologists) from harm when a volcano becomes active.
Jane
Jan 10, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, science
I listened to an abridged audio version of this read by the author. It kept my attention, which is the critical factor for me with an audio book. I could tell that parts were missing, as I occasionally thought "huh?" but I still enjoyed it. I can't comment on the science or the accuracy, but on the whole it was a good listen.
Rebecca Thatcher-Murcia
I've always heard about the disaster at Armero, when the Nevado del Ruiz volcano buried a town of 20,000 people. I was surprised to find such an excellent book about the disaster and the ensuing explosion at Galeras in Pastro. Bruce has written a great book about volcanoes, but it's also a great book about Colombia.
Amandayvonne
Apr 10, 2013 Amandayvonne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Again I find myself amazed at the prevalence of bad science and the willingness of people to believe it. National Geographic should have fact checked the story of Galeras before making their documentary Volcano! in 1997.
Valerie
Mar 28, 2009 Valerie rated it liked it
Recommended to Valerie by: Steve
This book, which I picked up for my husband, was a chilling and well done account of volcano research and tragedy.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A gripping read. Kept me right on the edge of my seat. Tells a different story from that offered by the documentary!
Christyne
May 10, 2008 Christyne added it
Shelves: non-fiction
A book about geology and people getting in their own way while mother nature storms around them.
Paul
Jul 17, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
great story no too technical a real thrill ride!
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“The Canadian graduate student was now hysterical.” 0 likes
“Gil and Salazar hadn’t realized that the last seismometer they’d checked earlier in the afternoon on November 13 had left—in a language neither understood—a very clear message. Nevado del Ruiz had already erupted.” 0 likes
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