Santorini is a beautiful and impressive island known all over the world for its active volcano. Its last eruption took place in 1950 but more than 100 eruptions have taken place during the last 40 centuries. The most disastrous one occurred 3.5 thousand years ago and lead to the burial of a flourished civilization under tonnes of lava. The eruptions followed by lava spreading have lead to the creation of two small islands in the centre of the caldera area of Santorini, named as Palea Kameni (Old Burnt island) and Nea Kameni (New Burnt island). The first one is 2,000 years old consisting of a thin fertile soil level where locals cultivated animal feed, in the past. Nowadays, one can see wild animals like rabbits or goats that try to survive there. The second island, Nea Kameni, is much bigger that Palea Kameni and is composed of lava rocks with a few plants and rabbits as well as a lot of lizards living there.
The two small volcanic islands are surrounded by the Santorini complex which consists of Thira (the half moon shaped island), Thirasia (on the north west side of Thira) and Aspronisi (south Thirasia) which are the earth parts that stayed above sea level after the volcano eruption, 3,500 ago, that created the caldera of Santorini.
The eruptions were always preceded by warnings such as water warming, water subsiding, earthquakes.
The Santorini volcano has been sleeping for the last 60 years while hot springs on the coasts of Palea and Nea Kameni and gas emissions remind people of its being alive. However, scientists have installed an equipment network in order to get notified of any pre-eruption phenomenon so as to keep save both locals’ and visitors’ lives.
Guided tours are organized to the volcano area so everybody can visit it, swim in the medicinal baths of the hot springs and see the rocks or the soil that have been created by the lava.
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