The patriarch of volcanologists returns to La Palma

Posted by Mencey

El País has an article HERE reporting on the return of Juan Carlos Carracedo to La Palma, where he was investigating the eruption there in 1971. The article has a photo of him standing on the spot where they took his photo in 1971 against a background of red-hot lava. Notice the total absence of safety equipment back then.

One amusing anecdote he relates is a press conference he attended in 1971 when he was the only volcanologist present, and he gave a talk to the local farmers about what was happening. Next to him stood the local priest, who then gave his religious explanation about how God has planned it all. They then asked for comments, and after a long pause, the farmer who had been the first to lose everything under the lava said “It seems to me that volcanologists know as much about what is happening below us as priests know about what is happening above us”.