When an oil rig triggers a volcanic eruption in a small town, it's just the first event causing a Ring of Fire that stretches across the globe. If this series of eruptions cannot be stopped, the earth will be swallowed whole, leading to an extinction level event.
People must run for their lives, but Dr. Matt Cooper is among the survivors and joins AERA (emergency agency) boss Harry Stromwell to diagnose the true state of affairs and come up with a daring answer, delivering a sonar bomb by converted space landing capsule into the volcanic crater via a caved-in hole. Hector Janen and his colleagues Glen and Edward are trapped in the control room but attempt an escape trough air vents and the abandoned mine. Green demonstrator Eric and Hank, the plant security guard he mutually pestered, help each-other escape alive. Hector's brother, an outcast ex-con since his single failure as mine guide cost his young nephew's life, now volunteers his expertise to mount a rescue expedition. Oliver's grandson Dylan's hidden cellphone proves vital to get his class's field trip excursion bus located and the kids rescued.
Oliver Booth's oil giant Trans Nova poses as an Environmentally friendly company while drilling with an experimental high-depth technique in a rural small town nature reserve. Local geologist Matthew Cooper dismisses the first incident of toxic fumes, unlike Booth's daughter Emily, whose fanatic hostility only discredits Peter Loson's green movement. After drill control room supervisor Hector Janen tips off Cooper through Emily, he realizes the 'oil' Booth secretly tried to tap into too deep is probably a magma chamber, large enough to trigger the apocalyptic scenario which may spell the end of life on earth (ELE). Emily's eight year-old son Dylan's class is on a field trip. A rapid succession of explosions with ash and toxic fumes proves it's already started.