August 25, 2005

Img_0013_caldeira_vue_depuis_athinios copy

Provided and copyright by: Norbert Rumiano
Summary authors & editors: Norbert Rumiano

When the volcano on Santorini exploded, some 3,700 years ago, the island (part of Greece), which now bears its name, was quite entirely destroyed. All of the central part of the island disappeared, and a huge tsunami was triggered, wreaking havoc in the Mediterranean Basin. Only some peripheral parts of the island remained, which can be seen on the above photograph -- taken on May 11, 2005 from the island of Thira (pronounced fee-ra), "the greatest one." Therasia, a smaller island, is visible in the left background. The interior of the remaining island is punctuated by high, abrupt cliffs, whereas the seaward portion has a rather gentle incline.

In the center of the caldera, on the middle left of the picture, a new volcanic cone slowly arose. Smoke and gas may be seen emanating from this cone. Despite its explosive past and its still-active, volcanic nature, Santorini is a wonderful place for holidays. Note the beautiful, dark blue waters of the immense caldera.

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