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There is an existential threat flowing under the streets of Melbourne, and most residets don't even know it, say experts

If the volcanoes erupt, they could send molten lava flowing down the streets of an unprepared Melbourne
(Source:Getty Images)
(Source:Getty Images)

A chain of volcanoes have been discovered underneath the city of Melbourne in Australia and scientists are saying that they could erupt at any point in time. If this happens, an expert has warned, they could send molten lava flowing down the streets of the city. Not many people are aware of this but the Newer Volcanic Province has around 400 volcanoes and it stretches from Melbourne to South Australia's Mount Gambier, which is just after the border of the state of Victoria.

Dr. Rebecca Carey, a volcanologist from Tasmania, had said that, even though the last eruption took place 5,000 years ago, the locals in Melbourne should be prepared for disaster to strike at any time. She told '60 Minutes' in an interview: "From what we can establish now, we're in a long phase of dormancy and that there is the possibility of an eruption in this province."

The expert is currently in Hawaii where she is studying the still-active Kilauea volcano which has destroyed hundreds of homes in only a night back in June. She said that a similar scene can probably be seen in Melbourne and south-east Victoria.

She said in the interview: "The impacts will of course be the same as here in Kilauea, where potentially properties are inundated with lava or the products of explosive eruption. But I think the impacts will be related to ash and aviation... That is a scenario that could happen in Melbourne. The manifestation of eruptive activity that we are seeing at Kilauea — low level explosions, lava ocean entry, lava flows — is typical of the type of eruptive activity that's occurred in that [Victorian] province."

Experts have made predictions that, if any of the volcanoes even start reacting in any way, the locals in the area will have almost no warning to react to the situation. The first signs of something going on would come in the form of slight tremors but a more advanced monitoring system is required.

Jozua van Otterloo, the volcanology lecturer at the Monash University, spoke to ABC and said: "Once you see that happening, you know in a couple of hours something is going to happen." All the volcanoes are different across the vast state. Mount Gambier's Blue Lake is called a maar volcano because of the shallow, crater-like shape that it has. 

Prof. Otterloo said: "The groundwater just sits there and, as it mixes with that groundwater, it becomes very, very explosive and it just excavates a big hole in the ground, which gives us that big crater, which we call a maar."

Experts have advised residents in the state to have a plan of action for such a time and prepare for anything because there still isn't any indication of when the volcanoes will decide to erupt.