Lava Hunters | 1999
Documentary special about volcanic eruptions.
Part 1 shows footage of the almost 150 volcanic eruptions witnessed by Maurice and Katia Krafft, including the 1973 blast that buried the village of Heimay (on the Westman Islands off southern Iceland) under 40 feet of ash. Also, Professor John Delaney of Washington State University sets out to prove that in addition to creating new land for life to colonize, undersea geo-thermal vents may be the Darwinian "Eden" in which all life began.
Part 2 examines the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia, in November 1985. The blast melted a glacier above sending torrents of mud and ash down the mountain. Just before midnight, a wall of mud 150 feet tall ripped through a town 30 miles away. Over 22,000 people lost their lives, forcing scientists to rework their warning systems. In response to this tragedy, a crisis response team was formed in Vancouver, Washington. The Volcanic Disaster Assistance Program is capable of reacting to volcanic emergencies anywhere in the world.
Part 3 follows volcanologist Jacques Durieux from Mount Vesuvius, Europe's most dangerous volcano, to a volcano in Indonesia named Merapi, which erupted in 1998, forcing thousands to flee their homes. He also visits the Great Rift Valley of Africa, formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago. Scientists see this same area as the birthplace of mankind.