Prepared and compiled by Rafi Ahmad, Unit for Disaster Studies,
Department of Geography and Geology,
University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica

B. Shield volcanoes resemble the wide, rounded shape of an ancient warrior's shield, typified by Hawaiian and most other mid-plate volcanoes, e.g, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Their eruption differs greatly from those of the composite cones.
They tend to erupt non-explosively, mainly pouring out huge volumes of fluid lava which advances slowly enough to allow safe evacuation of people. Large volumes of lava flows destroy property and agricultural lands.
Iceland, where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is exposed on land, offers a natural laboratory to study the behaviour of non-explosive eruptions from fissure vents.
Lakagigar (Laki) eruption in Iceland in 1783 resulted in one of the world's worst volcanic disasters. About 9,000 people, 20 % of the country's population, died of starvation after the eruption because their livestock had perished from grazing on grass contaminated by fluorine-rich gas emitted during this 8-month long eruption.

1902: Three volcanic disasters: Mont Pelee, Martinique; Soufriere, St. Vincent; and Santa Maria, Guatemala claimed more than 36,000 human lives in a 6-month period.
18 July 1995 ------ Eruption of Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat.
Enquiry: Explain the plate tectonic setting of the above places. Are there any other active or presently inactive volcanoes in these areas?

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