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The Supervolcano Super Disaster

June 9, 2018

Date: August 19, 2062
Entry #20, Sawyer Pierce: 

I don't think I've ever told you this, journal, but I'm a nerd when it comes to geology or earth science, whatever you want to call it(this is NOT a diary, it's a reasoning journal). I'm fascinated that even though there is lava at the core of our planet, Earth hasn't exploded. At least not yet. My parents are volcanologists, scientists who study volcanoes. So naturally, with two science nerds for parents, I'm just like them. My parents are only interested in the small volcanoes, though. Personally, I'm interested in the supervolcanoes. The calderas, like the Yellowstone Caldera that makes up Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA; Long Valley Caldera, California, USA; Lake Toba, near North Sumatra, Indonesia; Taupo Caldera, New Zealand; and Aira Caldera, near Kagoshima, Japan, just to name a few of my favorites. These are just five out of the twenty known supervolcanoes that are said to erupt only every 100,000 years (on average). All twenty couldn't possibly erupt at once, right? Imagine if every super volcano and volcano erupted at once. It could happen since ocean water levels have dropped tremendously. Well, I guess that couldn't happen, actually
...the news is on. I gotta go, journal.

I slammed the cover of the journal shut quickly, running into the living room to hear the news click on. Television isn't really a thing anymore if you're rich, but volcano scientists don't earn that much money, so we still have a television that only receives one channel: the news. It turns on at the same time every day, 4:45 PM. I vaulted over the back of our old couch and landed between my parents, startling my father. He chuckled, rubbing my head affectionately. I pushed him off, annoyed. "Stop it," I moaned. My father laughed until my mother shushed us, pointing to the screen. 
    "Tonight, we welcome you to News 360 headquarters," said the newscaster, "and we welcome a special guest. Please welcome Councilman Jordan to our studio." Councilman Jordan? Why was he on the news? Councilman Jordan was the chief scientist of our crumbling country, America. There were a few claps in the studio as the Councilman entered, his face grim. I started playing with a hangnail on my right thumb, knowing that Councilman Jordan wasn't carrying any good news. "So, Councilman," the newscaster said as soon as Jordan had sat down, "what news do you have?" Councilman Jordan crossed his left ankle over his right knee and cleared his throat.
    "First, I'm going to ask that all of you take a break from whatever way you're seeing this news and take a look outside." The newscaster looked at him nervously. Councilman Jordan laughed. "Relax, Arthur. This is all part of the news." He stared directly at the camera. "If you haven't already, look outside." I ran to the window in our small apartment in the suburbs of what used to be Chicago, and my jaw dropped at what I saw. The whole city was covered in a thick, dark gray fog of ash that choked the sun. Little black shreds of burnt material floated through the air, like a warped version of confetti. And below our apartment, on the streets, piles of ash were already forming. 
    My father joined me at the window, and his eyes widened. "This is what cities look like when a volcano erupts nearby." He pressed his face against the glass. "Those cities have clouds of ash that block out the sun." He scratched his head. "But we don't have any volcanoes near us. What a mystery this is." I ran back to the couch and flopped down, leaning into my mom. My father sat next to me. "This city's covered in ash, Diane," he told my mother. I looked up at her as she paled. She was about to respond, but Councilman Jordan began speaking again.
    "So I'm sure you've all seen what is outside," he said gravely. "This isn't just in your city, I promise. Many cities all over the world are experiencing the same ash clouds and stench of sulfur." He cleared his throat again, looking toward the newscaster. Arthur nodded to him. "There are estimated to be at least 2,000 volcanoes in the world, counting the continuously erupting volcanoes on the ocean floor, twenty of these being supervolcanoes." He stood, tapping the wall to pull up a map of all volcanoes in the world: supervolcanoes, inactive, active, and extinct. The map seemed to be filled with little red triangles. "Welcome to your world, Americans," he said with a slight, sad smile "Today, every single one of these volcanoes erupted. Even the extinct ones. Yellowstone National Park is gone. All that is left is a gaping hole full of magma and burning lava." He sniffed, a tear running down his cheek. "Residents of Earth, the world as we know it is gone. The Earth's core, full of boiling lava, has exploded, leaving nothing but charred soil in its path. Our world is-" Councilman Jordan's voice cracked- "gone."
    "Impossible," my father muttered. "Absolutely impossible." I shook my head, yanking the hangnail out of my thumb, causing the extraction site to bleed. A stream of red flowed down my thumb until my thumb was caked in it. This is what our world would look like once the lava had time to work its magic. A wasteland. 
    Arthur spoke again, his voice wobbly. "I believe Councilman Jordan has some more news to break." Jordan nodded, sniffing.
    "For your safety, citizens of Earth, we have decided to evacuate the planet until further notice. A rescue vehicle will be in each of your cities by tomorrow to pick you up. Bring only what you need; pack lightly. We will see you in space." The screen flickered and went out. I blinked, pinching my thumb, trying to wake myself up from this nightmare. Nothing worked. It seemed that I was stuck in my nightmare and would never escape.


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