Episode 22: The Tragedy of Armero and the Cobra Effect

Episode 22: The Tragedy of Armero and the Cobra Effect

Natural disasters happen, it is an inevitability of living on Earth. What we choose to do when presented with warning signs of impending doom can make the difference between life and death. In 1985, there was a small town named Armero in Columbia. It sat in the shadow of Nevado del Ruiz, also known as La Mesa de Herveo or Kumanday: an enormous albeit quiet stratovolcano. The Earth rumbled and smoke came forth, telltale signs of what was to come. Why did thousands of people die?

In a completely different subject matter, Clarke looks into British rule of colonial India. Delhi had a problem with the number of venomous cobra’s , and the British Government decided to do something about it. Somehow, their plan only caused the snake population to explode, and also gave us The Cobra Effect, a phenomena seen the world over where an attempted solution only makes the problem worse. What happened? Find out this week in @thesoftbrains Episode 22: The Tragedy of Armero and The Cobra Effect.

The Softbrains podcast is available on all major podcast apps including iTunes, Spotify and Google Play, and more. Listen in every week for weird history, awkward anecdotes and current events with your hosts Clarke and Justin! 

Mount Nevado Del Ruiz seen from space.
Nevado Del Ruiz about two weeks after the eruption.
An updated hazard map of the Lahars path.
The town of Armero covered in debris, water and sludge, otherwise known as the Lahar.
Omayra Sanchez, a young victim of the natural disaster.
An Indian cobra
Hanoi, Vietnam under the rule of the French colonial empire.
A map of the sewer pipes that ran throughout Hanoi, filled with rats.
Maurice Duplessis, his era as premier in Quebec was called ‘the great darkness.’
Duplessis Orphans.
Duplessis Orphans.