A LEADING expert has warned a deadly underground volcanic eruption could strike urban Australia at any moment causing torrents of lava to flow through the streets.
The catastrophic disaster could in theory happen in both bustling Melbourne and the city of Auckland in New Zealand.
However, the Australian National University academic admits there’s no way of knowing where or exactly when tragedy might strike.
“In terms of Melbourne and Auckland, there’s every chance another volcano could blow. You could see lava flowing down Bourke Street (a major road in the centre of Melbourne).“
Prof Arculus pointed to research from Melbourne’s Monash University which has identified an ancient volcanic field existing in the city.
The campus’s study analysed an ‘intra-plate basaltic volcanic field’ in the south east of Australia.
Also in Auckland, NZ
A similar field also exists in Auckland, a city built on and near 52 spouts, said Prof Arculus.
He added new eruptions can take place at spots where volcanoes have not previously existed and scientists are unable to tell when or where a new volcano would sprout.
A chilling video created as part of research into the effect of volcanoes in Auckland shows the effects of an eruption on the city.
The creator said it was intended to simulate the view of an eruption from a home in the city.
It shows a massive explosion before rubble and ash soar into the sky, and a huge wave hits the coast and wipes out everything in its path.
Mount Gambier in southeastern South Australia represents the western margin of the volcanic field and the most recent eruption – 5,000 years ago.
Between Melbourne and Mt Gambier there are more than 400 small volcanoes that erupted over a period of six million years.
Volcanic eruptions are deadly, and with an ever-growing population and global mobility, there is also a growing need to better understand the threats of volcanoes.
Eruptions seem to occur randomly and be very different in scale and style, warn volcanologists.
Have your emergency plan ready!