Greece Prepares Disaster Plan if Santorini Volcano Erupts Again


(Photo by Eurokinissi/Klodian Lato)

It's been 3,666 years since the volcano on the now fabled island of Santorini exploded in one of the most cataclysmic events in world history but if it happens again, Greece's General Secretariat for Civil Protection said it has a  ready plan to deal with it.

An official told the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA-MPA) that the 184-page study named Talio was an “Emergency Response and Immediate / Short-Term Impact Management of the Volcanic Activity Event at the Santorini Volcanic Complex.”

The document was said to have a high alert level “in view of the imminent danger of volcanic activity in the Santorini volcanic complex, taking into account the alert level designation set by the Hellenic Observatory’s Standing Monitoring Committee”.

The first two plans, regarding flooding and fire disasters, were presented in November 2019, under the code names of Dardanos and Iolaos, said the Sydney-based Greek City Times. Another plan for earthquake preparation in Greece, known as Enceladus is due to be released later.

The volcano, or caldera, is on a separate islet a short distance from the main island and is a major tourist attraction, with tourists being allowed to walk to the top. It wasn't said how any plan could prepare for a major explosion such as happened on New Zealand's White Island on Dec. 9, 2019 where a volcano suddenly erupted, killing 21 people, with two missing and presumed dead. It is also a major tourist lure for that country.

Greece's Secretariat said there's no cause for alarm as there's no signs that the Santorini volcano, long dormant, will erupt although there is a second underwater volcano called Colombo about 8.5 kilometers (5.28 miles) from the northeast end of the island that's also known as Thira.

Numerous minor and medium-sized eruptions have built the dark-colored lava shields of Nea and Palea Kameni inside the caldera and the last eruption was in 1950. The volcanic complex has two two active sources, the other being Kameni, between Thira and Thirassia, another islet there.