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Victoria Bruce
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No Apparent Danger: The Story of Volcanic Disaster at Galeras and Nevado del Ruiz

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  155 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews

On January 14, 1993, a team of scientists descended into the crater of Galeras, a restless Andean volcano in southern Colombia, for a day of field research. As the group slowly moved across the rocky moonscape of the caldera near the heart of the volcano, Galeras erupted, its crater exploding in a barrage of burning rocks and glowing shrapnel. Nine men died instantly, thei

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Published December 1st 2005 by Recorded Books
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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
Susan
Sep 30, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
I had vague memories of hearing about the scientists killed in a volcanic eruption but didn't remember any of the details. This book tells the stories of the Nevado del Ruiz eruption which caused a mudslide that buried a small town in Colombia and the Galeras eruption in 1993 in which 6 scientists lost their lives.

Victoria Bruce, the author, is a geologist and does an excellent job of giving the reader a grounding in vulcanology. She explains the different sorts of volcanoes and how plate tecton
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Jhawn
In-depth about a couple of volcanoes. Very interesting. Amazingly detailed about the damage a volcano can do. Covers the state of eruption science at the time, and how the community and government can respond.
Amy
Sep 05, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
chris
Sep 12, 2016 chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truth wins!!

A great story of adventure, scientific expedition, and tragedy in the study of of Colombia's Galeras and Nevado Del Ruiz volcanos. Victoria Bruce has done the science academy, history, and human honor and integrity a great service in writing this book!
Julie
May 01, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Dee Bitner
Jul 30, 2015 Dee Bitner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Robert Sterling
Sep 10, 2016 Robert Sterling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very informative book.

Not a book that the average person who has no interest in science would like, however, people with a scientific mind that have an interest in geology and volcanos would appreciate this book.
Felicity
Apr 30, 2007 Felicity rated it liked it
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
Jaci
May 03, 2016 Jaci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not Just Another Disaster Story

The knowledge imparted by this book is widespread, covering information on subjects from South American geology to the current political woes in Columbia. It introduces you to leading scientists in volcanology, geology, and other related fields of study. However, this book is not a dry textbook. The knowledge is interspersed with the lives and concerns of the scientists in the forefront of the story.

Told in a steady, forthright manner, the book presents the events
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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
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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
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Gary Braham
Jan 28, 2010 Gary Braham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Stacy
Apr 06, 2016 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sad and fascinating tale

Wow. I took several geology classes in college, and we studied this case--the volcano that just randomly erupted, killing nine people. Turns out, it wasn't so random after all. There is, sadly, a long history of scientists not communicating well across national and language lines. This book does an excellent job of telling of one of the tragedies that resulted from that failure to communicate.
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.
Jane
Jan 10, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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!
Kathy Waters
Very good book. Shows what can happen when a professor disregards other research in his field and acts as if he is the only authority on a subject.
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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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