Through a harrowing first-person account of an eruption and its aftermath, SURVIVING GALERAS reveals the fascinating, high-risk realm of volcanology and explores the profound impact volcanoes have had on the earth's landscapes and civilizations.
In 1993, Stanley Williams, an eminent volcanologist, was standing on top of a Colombian volcano called Galeras when it erupted, killing six of his colleagues instantly. As Williams tried to escape the blast, he was pelted with white-hot projectiles traveling faster than bullets. Within seconds he was cut down, his skull fractured, his right leg almost severed, his backpack aflame. Williams lay helpless and near death on Galeras's flank until two brave women -- friends and fellow volcanologists -- mounted an astonishing rescue effort to carry him safely off the mountain.
The tale of how Williams survived Galeras is the framework for a groundbreaking book about volcanoes, their physical and cultural impact, and the tiny cadre of scientists who risk their own lives to gain knowledge that might one day save many others' lives.
Volcanoes unleash supremely powerful, unpredictable forces, and we have paid dearly for our understanding of their behavior. Even with ever more sensitive measuring tools and protective equipment, at least one volcanologist, on average, dies each year. Yet Williams and his fellow scientist-adventurers continue to unveil the enigmatic and miraculous workings of volcanoes and to piece together methods for predicting their actions. Volcanologists often put themselves in peril, not only because the discipline attracts risk-takers but because they know that volcanoes threaten as many as 500 million people worldwide. For Seattle, Tokyo, Mexico City, Naples -- and for volcanologists -- the clock is ticking.
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On January 14, 1993, Stanley Williams led a party of fellow geologists up Galeras, a Colombian volcano that, though historically active, had been lying quiet long enough that they suspected it was due for an episode--and thus an opportunity for the volcanologists to practice their predicting skills. As they reached the lip of its great crater, Galeras obliged them with a vengeance: it erupted in a burst of fire and toxic gas, killing several members of the party and leaving Williams scorched and broken, "sprawled on my side, caked in ash and blood, wet from the rain, bones protruding from my burned clothes, my jaw hanging slackly."
Rescued by two colleagues, Marta Velasco and Patty Mothes, Williams faced several challenges in the years to come--not only healing his body and exorcising the ghosts of Galeras, but also contending with other colleagues' whispered charges that he should have known the mountain was about to blow. But death, Williams and collaborator Fen Montaigne (Reeling in Russia) write, comes with the territory. Whenever a volcano has erupted in recent years, it seems, a volcanologist is among its victims, for, Williams notes, "the best way to understand a volcano is still, in my opinion, to climb it," and to climb it in all of its moods. And those moods, Williams and Montaigne add, are not easy to forecast, even if earth scientists have developed ever more accurate ways to predict events such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
At once a study in mountains, the history of geology, and the will to endure, Surviving Galeras is often terrifying, and altogether memorable. --Gregory McNameeFrom the Back Cover:
"I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent book -- a Baedeker to the landscape of the Inferno. Through its pages, Stanley Williams wanders the world's fifteen hundred active volcanoes - going not only to them, but also on them and in them. He portrays his colleagues (of both sexes) as members of a rare breed: mostly scientist, part explorer and part thrill-seeker. Loving their dangerous work, they brave natural hellfire and brimstone, bent on a humanitarian mission to save lives by perfecting methods for predicting when magma-filled mountains will explode. Williams' own near-death experience on Galeras, in the Colombian Andes, where he lost six colleagues to a surprise eruption, is the leitmotif that drives this riveting story and shanghais the reader." -- Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Gallileo's Daughter
"Williams and Montaigne capture a nightmare too real for Dante to have imagined. Surviving Galeras artfully blends science writing and history with pure, heart-pounding action. I couldn't stop reading this thrilling account of science on the edge." --MARK BOWDEN, author of Black Hawk Down and Killing Pablo
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Descripción Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0618031685 New: Packaged Carefully & Shipped Promptly. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed!. Nº de ref. de la librería 005962
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Descripción Houghton Mifflin, USA, 2001. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. First Edition. This is the first USA edition. 270 pages. Multiple copies of this title available. A volcanologist, Williams was atop the Columbian volcano Galeras when it erupted in 1993. Though six of his colleagues died, he was rescued. His story offers insight on the traumatic events of that day, as well as a meaningful look at the dangerous profession that led him into the crater. Quantity Available: 3. Category: Biography & Autobiography; ISBN: 0618031685. ISBN/EAN: 9780618031689. Inventory No: 09030020. This item is in stock in our Australian warehouse. We are not dropshippers. Nº de ref. de la librería 09030020
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Descripción Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0618031685 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0236417