Volcanoes are geological formations on the surface of the Earth’s crust. Periodically, magma comes out of the bowels, forming lava, volcanic gases and rocks. Of course, all living things in the immediate vicinity are in great danger.
At the moment, there are about 900 active volcanoes in the world. Eruptions are emergency situations and often lead to natural disasters. Even now, scientists cannot predict the exact date, although in most cases even this will not help. For example, evacuating a city with a population of one million is a difficult and sometimes impossible task.
If you are interested in this topic, pay attention to our rating of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
10. Kilauea, Hawaii
The youngest and most active active volcano on Earth. Its age is 25 thousand years. Two years ago, another eruption ended, which lasted 35 years, but volcanologists believe that it never falls asleep at all. A sluggish eruption is his usual state.
Kilauea is located in the southeast of the Hawaiian Islands and is part of the Hawaiian National Volcanic Park. Crowds of tourists come here every day. They have one goal – to see the eruption of the volcano with their own eyes. There are observation platforms in the park, so you can enjoy this unique phenomenon and the picturesque beauty of the area without risking your life.
True, you need to be very brave to decide on this. For example, in 2018, the volcano destroyed the village of Kapoho, it was possible to do without serious casualties. In 1980, everything was much sadder, several dozen people died.
9. Merapi, Indonesia
The volcano is the most active in Indonesia. Located on the island of Java. Its exact age is unknown, but activity in this area began more than 400 thousand years ago. During its existence, Merapi has brought a lot of grief. In 1006, he completely destroyed the Mataram state. Lost people and destroyed villages – these are the consequences of major eruptions, and they occur every seven years.
In the spring of 2020, the volcano again showed activity, this time not high. He threw out a pillar of ash 5 thousand meters high. Experts reassured residents of nearby cities and advised not to approach the crater closer than 3 kilometers.
8. St. Helens, USA
Location of the Cascade Mountains volcano (Scamania County, Washington). It is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Age – 40 thousand years.
St. Helens became famous all over the world in 1980. The volcanic eruption was known in advance. Of course, no one could indicate the exact date, but the evacuation was carried out in advance. Here are just the number of victims – 57 people suggests that scientists underestimated the scale of the disaster. Not only people died, but also a huge number of animals – about 7 thousand large and countless small ones. Damage from destructive actions was estimated at one billion dollars. Residential buildings, kilometers of highways and railways, bridges – all this turned out to be buried under a mixture of lava and ash. Now St. Helens is asleep, but it will certainly prove itself more than once. We can only hope that next time people will have time to prepare for a disaster.
7. Sakurajima, Japan
The stratovolcano is located on the Osumi Peninsula. It appeared relatively recently – about 13 thousand years ago, has been active over the past 65 years (since 1955). For example, in 2013, more than 1,097 small eruptions were recorded. In 1914, the largest eruption occurred, after which the Osumi Peninsula turned into a peninsula. Since then, it has been connected to the “mainland” by solidified lava flows. Fortunately, there were no casualties then. In 1941, nothing foreshadowed danger, so people did not have time to evacuate, 35 people died.
Sakurajima is located in close proximity to the city of Kagoshima with a population of over 680 thousand people. Measures have been taken to keep them safe: the volcano is monitored by webcams, and the city is full of underground shelters where you can hide from the raging Sakurajima.
6. Mayon, Philippines
The volcano is located in the southeast of Luzon Island. Its peculiarity is the ideal cone-shaped shape, which does not change even after numerous eruptions, and there have been at least 50 of them over the past 400 years. Moreover, most of them are large, with destructive power. In 1814, he destroyed the city of Kagzawa, a huge death toll – 1200 people. In 1993, the volcano killed another 79 people.
Recently, periods of quiet eruption have been replaced by active phases. At the moment he is calm, but in 2018 he was a great danger, the evacuation zone was 8 km, victims were avoided.
5. Nyiragongo, Congo
Location – African mountains Virunga. Translated into Russian, Nyiragongo means “the valley of the scarlet fire.” Indeed, this is a unique place. The area of the volcano reaches 350 km, inside it is a “lake” with lava, which has an unusual consistency due to its chemical composition. It is very liquid and if a crack appears in the crater, its propagation speed will be 100 km / h.
While two such cases were recorded (in 1977 and 2002), both ended tragically. Nyiragongo killed hundreds of people.
4. Popocatepetl, Mexico
The volcano is considered the most dangerous in the world, as there is a very high population density next to it. It is located in close proximity to the metropolitan area – the states of Puebla. Its eruptions pose a danger to at least 1 million people.
The last eruption took place in early 2020, no evacuation was required, but Popocatepetl brought a lot of inconvenience to the residents of settlements in the form of a regular release of volcanic ash.
Things didn’t turn out so rosy in 2017. Then the volcano showed its activity in the middle of the working day, a strong earthquake began. Hundreds of people were trapped under the rubble. The victims of Popocatepetl were 273 people.
3. Santorini, Greece
All that reminds of the Santorini volcano is the island of Thira, which is the eastern edge of an ancient crater drowned 2,000 years ago. There is no need to talk about the exact date, but geologists believe that this eruption was very powerful. It has been compared to the explosion of several hundred atomic bombs.
Santorini destroyed the Cretan-Minoan civilization. This eruption was reflected in religion and literature. True, it is now unclear which events really took place, and which are just fiction of the authors.
2. Cotopaxi, Ecuador
An active volcano, the highest in the country. Eruptions occur at different intervals, since 1738 more than 50 have been recorded. The eruption of 1768 was the most destructive. Cotopaxi destroyed the city of Latacunga and all the settlements nearby. In 1877, the volcano erupted for the penultimate time. 140 years of sleep, and in 2015 it reminded itself again. The situation is complicated by the fact that the capital of Ecuador, Quito, is located at a distance of 50 km from Cotopaxi. A yellow danger level was announced, no one was hurt.
1. Vesuvius, Italy
The legendary Vesuvius has located 15 km from Naples. It is the only active volcano in continental Europe. On his account, there are more than 80 eruptions that have gone down in history. He destroyed Pompey and other ancient Roman cities. These events were considered fictional for a long time, but thanks to excavations it was possible to confirm their truthfulness. The last violent eruption took place at the height of the Second World War – 1944. The consequences are significant destruction and a small number of victims (27 people).
At the moment, volcanologists are talking about the weak fumarolic activity of Vesuvius. This is a post-volcanic phenomenon that often indicates attenuation.