Living with natural hazards
Some people have no choice but to live in active zones, others choose to live in these dangerous areas.
There are a range of opportunities in hazardous areas. These include geothermal energy, fertile soils and tourism.
Volcanic activity can provide opportunities for generating geothermal energy. In volcanic areas, the rocks may heat water so that it rises to the surface naturally as hot water and steam. Here the steam can be used to drive turbines and electricity generators. This type of geothermal power station exists in places such as Iceland, California and Italy.
In some places, the rocks are hot, but no hot water or steam rises to the surface. In this situation, deep wells can be drilled down to the hot rocks and cold water pumped down. The water runs through fractures in the rocks and is heated up. It returns to the surface as hot water and steam, where its energy can be used to drive turbines and electricity generators.
The image below shows a geothermal power station in Iceland.
Areas of volcanic activity are tourist attractions. They provide jobs for local people as tour guides and offer opportunities for the local economy. This includes jobs in the service industry such as hotels and restaurants and other tourist attractions.
The benefits of volcanoes can outweigh the risks for some people. The rich volcanic soil containing minerals such as nitrogen and potassium provides high crop yields for farmers.
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