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08.14.2019

SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL INVESTIGATES THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER AND LIFE-SPAWNING AFTERMATH OF VOLCANOES IN TWO NEW FILMS

VOLCANOES: DUAL DESTRUCTION FEATURES EXCLUSIVE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS AND HOME FOOTAGE OF THE DEADLY 2018 VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS, TO AIR SEPTEMBER 8

 

ISLANDS OF FIRE VISITS THE VOLCANIC ISLANDS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE, TO AIR SEPTEMBER 15 

 

NEW YORK – August 14, 2019 – Scattered across the globe lie nearly 1,500 known volcanoes – some active all year round, others that can erupt with surprising and often deadly force. Two recent incidents – Fuego in Guatemala and Kilauea in Hawaii – claimed hundreds of lives and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage when they unleashed their terror in the spring of 2018. Now, Smithsonian Channel looks back on these cataclysmic events in a new special, VOLCANOES: DUAL DESTRUCTION, featuring exclusive eyewitness reports and home footage taken on the ground while the tragedies were unfolding. ISLANDS OF FIRE, a new hour-long documentary, visits the volcanic islands along the mid-Atlantic ridge which, born from fire, have become lands of beauty, growth and new life. VOLCANOES: DUAL DESTRUCTION premieres Sunday, September 8 and ISLANDS OF FIRE premieres Sunday September 15, both at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel. 

 

VOLCANOES: DUAL DESTRUCTION revisits the eruptions of two massive and very different volcanoes, Kilauea and Fuego. In Guatemala, hundreds were killed – with even more still missing to this day – as a pyroclastic flow of boiling gas, ash and rocks roared down the volcano’s slopes onto communities lying below. In contrast, Hawaii’s Kilauea was a slow-motion disaster, starting with small earthquakes and cracks in roads before bursting into residential neighborhoods with devastating force. Fountains of lava broke through the ground and soared hundreds of feet in the air, leading to massive molten rivers flowing across Hawaii’s Big Island.

 

Featuring shocking home footage taken by eyewitnesses, VOLCANOES: DUAL DESTRUCTION captures the action of each eruption as it happened, with residents and local cameramen on hand, risking their own safety, to film the breathtaking moments of horror and devastation. The special consults with leading scientists around the world as they grapple to understand why these eruptions were so hard to predict and features the work of the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program, whose mission is to document all volcanic activity from the past 10,000 years in an effort to improve future prediction models.

 

ISLANDS OF FIRE explores the vast chain of volcanoes that make up the longest mountain range in the world – the mid-Atlantic Ridge. Running down the center of the Atlantic Ocean at over 6,000 miles long, the islands that make up this isolated chain were once as sterile as they were remote. Now, they teem with wildlife.

 

The hour-long film goes from the stunning landscapes of Iceland, abounding with Arctic foxes and colonies of puffins, south to Ascension Island, a rich tropical haven for sea turtles, seabirds and the Ascension frigatebird, a curious creature found nowhere else on the planet. ISLANDS OF FIRE continues on to the remote islands of Tristan de Cunha, Elephant Island and the Falklands, meeting fur seals, yellow-nosed albatrosses and the carnivorous Tristan thrush along the way – all exceptional and unique animals thriving on volcanic lands.

 

VOLCANOES: DUAL DESTRUCTION is produced by Emma Read and Mark Strickson of Emporium Productions for Smithsonian Networks. Charles Poe and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel. 

 

ISLANDS OF FIRE is produced by Carl Hall of Warehouse 51 Productions Ltd. Joy Galane and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.