Santorini volcano back in dormant state, scientists say

Three years after a period of increased activity, the world-famous volcano of Santorini, in the southern Aegean, is back in a dormant state, experts have told Kathimerini.

Speaking to the newspaper ahead of their annual inspection on the volcanic islet of Nea Kameni, in the flooded Santorini caldera, experts from the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME) said that seismic activity, as well as physicochemical parameters, are back to normal levels, while changes to the surface of the volcano’s rim have stopped. Experts played down the repercussions of a possible eruption.

“We know that even if there was an eruption in 2011, it would be a perfectly manageable situation, similar to that of 1925-1926,” said Giorgos Vougiouklakis, a scientist at IGME.

“Volcanoes always give you a warning. If the volcano is systematically monitored and the state is well-prepared, an eruption could even work as a magnet for tourists. This is the sort of situation we are talking about, so let’s not engage in scaremongering.”

A massive eruption about 3,600 years ago is believed to have wiped out Minoan settlements in Santorini and Crete. In January 2011, a series of small earthquakes – detected only with sensitive seismometers – were the first indications of volcanic activity in 25 years.

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