Not "A Piece of Cake"!

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Science  27 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5517, pp. 643-644
DOI: 10.1126/science.1059892

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No Apparent Danger The True Story of Volcanic Disaster at Galeras and Nevado del Ruiz. by Victoria Bruce. HarperCollins, New York, 2001. 251 pp. $26, C$39.50. ISBN 0-06-019920-2.

Surviving Galeras. Stanley Williams and Fen Montaigne. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2001. 280 pp. $25. ISBN 0-618-03168-5.

The hazards of volcanic eruptions and risks they pose to researchers are highlighted in these two contrasting portrayals of the events that led to nine deaths at a Colombian volcano in 1993. Bruce claims that the dangers at Galeras were predictable and thus the fatalities could have been prevented. Offering a first-person account of the eruption and his own perspectives on the dangers and rewards of studying active volcanoes up close, Williams argues that the event could not have been forecast.