Saturday October 1st 2022

Chasing lava rainbows – Erica Southey

Volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis are Erica Southey’s passion – what’s yours?

In this section, we profile women doing what they love.

“Volcano?  You are visiting a VOLCANO??!!! – can’t you do anything normal?” shrieked a friend told them I’m off to Anak Krakatau in Indonesia. I responded: “When have I EVER done normal?”

After watching programs on volcanoes – especially Krakatau; I found myself at the foot of its ‘child’ Anak Krakatau on 10 September 2009. Situated on the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatera this killer is one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes. It will kill again – question is: when?  Anak is said to grow 5 meters per year.

Why on earth volcanoes!?

These majestic forces of nature hold an indescribable appeal for me. Both killers and life-forming they are one of the major forces behind life extinction events. My choice of interest is hard to explain. Not even a 7.1 magnitude earthquake will deter a volcano fan.

With my newly acquired Hard News Journalism qualification and passion for writing I want to create awareness among readers, but also help to educate individuals on Global Change. Reading books or watching documentaries doesn’t fully satisfy: experiencing the cultures living with these volcanoes. I plan to visit more and hope to bring back reality to those not contending with this daily threat. Imagine losing your home to careless oil drilling practices that formed a mud volcano called Lusi in Indonesia?

Coupled with volcanoes, I also have a keen interest in earthquakes, tsunamis and Global Change.  I started EVT (Earthquake, Volcano, Tsunami) Zone ( to keep non-scientific readers up to date on earthquake, volcano and tsunami activity by way of getting SMS alerts and interviewing scientists.  On my visit to Anak Krakatau, sleeping on Rakata Island with the volcano just a couple of oar spins away I couldn’t ignore the threat we are to our own planet.

Having made the decision to pursue a qualification in Hard News Journalism despite being a 44 year old woman in a permanent job, nothing can deter me now from realising my dreams and reaching my goals of becoming one of the best reporters on Global Change.

Women give life and nuture.  We need not be Angelina Jolies etc. to make our mark on curbing Global Change. By uniting we can lead the way and leave a planet behind, where a tiger will not just be a picture in a book of the next generation that reads ‘extinct’.

Visit Erica’s blog :

One Comment for “Chasing lava rainbows – Erica Southey”

  • Erica says:

    Hi Beth, thanks so much. 🙂 Inspiring Women is a great new addition to WakaWomen. I hope to read about other women who inspire others to get out of their comfort zones.

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