Skip to main content


Table 2 Gas, ash and ocean entry hazards, and mitigation advice, given in JIR on 5, 7 and 10 April 2007

From: Newspaper reporting of the April 2007 eruption of Piton de la Fournaise part 1: useful information or tabloid sensationalism?

Hazard Recommendations
(Amiotte, 2007a)
“Across the whole island, the prefecture recommends, especially for sensitive people (the elderly, children and adults with respiratory diseases or chronic cardiovascular problems) to avoid all intense physical and sporting activities that significantly increase the volume of air and pollutants inhaled; ensure not to aggravate the effects of this pollution through use of other irritants such use solvents or paints without proper protection, or tobacco smoke. Persons under preventive or curative treatment for respiratory problems are recommended to strictly follow their treatment or to seek the advice of a doctor.”
Ash (Pele’s hair)
(Martel-Asselin 2007i)
“The lava fountains, as visible from the RN 2, project myriads of droplets that become stretched during movement through the air in the form of long strands (from a few to about fifteen centimeters in length) that can be driven by the wind over distances that can reach several tens of kilometers …. … … The Chamber of Agriculture encourages farmers to return their animals to cover wherever possible as ingestion or inhalation may cause ‘irritation and ulceration as respiratory and intestinal problems’ … … … farmers should be wary of reserves of water and fresh feed left in the open-air, and consequently to favor (use of) conserved forage. Then (the farmer needs to) wait for the rains to flush the soils and pastures. Human consumption of vegetables and fruit should be monitored, and clean the fruit (prior to eating) if necessary.”
Acid rain
(Amiotte, 2007c)
“The dangers are mainly cardiovascular and are of particular concern for asthmatics. However, there may also be skin irritation related to hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. Both gases can cause minor erythema (redness of the skin) which are like minor burns. If necessary treat such a condition as a burn with Biafine. Exposure may also cause conjunctivitis. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor.”
Agricultural impacts
(T.L. 2007a)
“The ingestion of Pele’s hair by cows and goats can provoke irritation, which in the worst cases can lead to death … … … (thus) … … … keep cattle in barns and feed them hay, dry straw and animal food.’
Ocean Entry
(Frasson-Botton, 2007)
There is a very hot surface layer of water. Certain boats and jet-skis are approaching dangerously close to the coast, such a location is not essential in order to observe the activity. Above all there are restrictions enforced by the Prefecture and Municipality. In comparison to 2004, the arrival of lava at the sea is more dangerous. The layer of burning water extends down to 300 or 400 m in depth.