SS3: First steps in planning for the health response in a future eruption or period of volcanic unrest in Greece
Department of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Claire J. Horwell
Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom
Department of Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
Greece has a number of volcanoes which are displaying signs of unrest. The substantial degassing following the Nisyros seismic crisis of 1997 and the Santorini volcanic unrest of 2011-12 alerted Greece to the possibility of a major eruption within our lifetimes. Volcanic emissions, either passive or during an eruption, may cause distress and potential harm to exposed communities. This workshop proposal invites Greek governmental and non-governmental health agencies, civil protection and related practitioners such as those responsible for environmental monitoring (e.g., air and water quality) to come together with international experts to discuss the potential health impacts, how the health of exposed communities would be monitored and to discuss potential actions to protect communities that could be taken in the event of negative health consequences being measured or suspected.The workshop is sponsored by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network which works with governments to prepare for eruptions and provides public information for use during the responses. IVHHN has recently produced two standardized epidemiological protocols (http://www.ivhhn.org/guidelines#epidemiological), the first being for rapid deployment at eruption onset and the second being for follow up if health impacts are measured. These protocols will be presented and their potential for implementation discussed,along with other emergency management and civil/public health protection practices.