VOLCANO EXPERT SEES PLUSES, MINUSES IN `DANTE'S PEAK' FILM.Byline: Scott Lindlaw Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
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A seismologist seis·mol·o·gy
The geophysical science of earthquakes and the mechanical properties of the earth.
seis who narrowly escaped the disastrous 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo Noun 1. Mount Pinatubo - a volcano on Luzon to the northwest of Manila; erupted in 1991 after 600 years of dormancy
Pinatubo in the Philippines says a new film about a menacing volcano takes ``a lot of liberties.''
But, Jim Mori allowed: ``There's some parts that are actually very good in conveying the power and energy one of these big eruptions can have.''
Mori, now scientist in charge of the Pasadena office of the U.S. Geological Survey The term geological survey can be used to describe both the conduct of a survey for geological purposes and an institution holding geological information.
A geological survey , was among about 20 scientists who stayed on to study Mount Pinatubo despite an evacuation just before it erupted in June 1991.
By the time he fled, the volcano was raining down small rocks and heavy dust, and static electricity along with an incoming typhoon typhoon: see hurricane. had brought thunder and lightning.
``There were a few moments there where I really was scared,'' Mori recalled Thursday. ``It really was one of these end-of-the world scenarios.''
Pinatubo's eruption in June 1991 killed at least 800 people and spewed ash that altered weather worldwide.
Wednesday night, Mori viewed a volcanic catastrophe from the safety of Universal Amphitheatre, where the premiere of ``Dante's Peak'' was shown.
``It was, um, entertaining,'' Mori said, pointing out that the film does not claim to be a documentary. ``There's a lot of liberties in the special effects special effects, in motion pictures, cinematographic techniques that create illusions in the audience's minds as well as the illusions created using these techniques. that I think are exaggerated a bit.''
Yet he praised two aspects of volcanoes portrayed in the film.
One, he said, was ``pyroclastic flow.''
``It's just kind of a mixture of hot gas and rock and debris that comes flying down the mountain at 50 or 100 mph. It's a destructive force at many of these volcanic eruptions volcanic eruptions
discharging of fumes, dust and lava from volcanoes. They have damaging potential in addition to those of being physically overpowering by the lava flow or the ash or dust fallout. , and those were very graphically portrayed in the movie,'' he said.
``Lahars,'' huge flows of mud, also were accurately represented, he said.
Among the distortions and inaccuracies, he said, were quakes that rocked the town in ``Dante's Peak.'' Generally, strong quakes aren't associated with such blowups, Mori said.
And the volcano in ``Dante's Peak'' oozed lava. According to Mori, eruptions usually spew lava or debris - not both.
``They picked every kind of hazard and threw them together,'' he said.
Several other USGS USGS United States Geological Survey (US Department of the Interior) scientists served as consultants to the filmmakers, Mori said.
The USGS examines natural occurrences such as earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides and studies how to minimize damage from them.
The premiere Wednesday experienced a small disaster of its own when a projector broke, leaving Mori and the film's stars cooling their heels for more than an hour.
Photo: Seismologist Jim Mori of the U.S. Geological Survey says ``Dante's Peak'' took some liberties.