Volcanoes are majestic indeed. While volcanoes are an extension of the Earth’s hot interior, which is composed of magma, lava and other layers, they are truly objects of intrigue. Volcanoes house the element of fire which destroys everything in its path to give birth to new beginnings. So many volcanic eruptions have led to formation of fertile lands and valleys. The phenomenon of volcanoes is full of power, magic, and charm.
In the earlier times, volcanic eruptions were considered to be God’s wrath. But as a matter of fact, volcanoes are not a subject of nature’s fury. Volcanic activity is a natural occurrence and volcanic eruptions are common in areas with high tectonic plate activity and these areas are commonly referred to as Hotspots.
Explosions like Mt. Krakatoa in Indonesia, 1883 which was documented as the first deadly catastrophe in modern history claimed numberless lives and had the devastating effect of 13000 times more when we compare it with the nuclear explosion in Hiroshima. Volcanoes are nature’s storehouses of energy but the unpredictable nature and the possibility of widespread damage continue to spark curiosity and terror in the minds of the people till date.
- Top 10 Most Active Volcanoes In The World
Top 10 Most Active Volcanoes In The World
10. Ulawun, Papua New Guinea
This volcano is located in the New Britain Island in Papua. It is 2334 metres high and constitutes the Bismarck volcano arc and is the highest volcano in that arc which spans 1000 kms from Rabaul Volcano to Wewak. Ulawun has erupted around 22 times. Minor explosions are common and residents are witness to lava and ash accumulation in the adjoining areas.
9. Taal Volcano, Philippines
Located 31 miles from Manila, the capital of Phillipines, this volcano is a scoria cone volcano in Taal Lake at the Luzon Island. This volcano has erupted around 33 times and led to widespread loss of life and property since 1572. The eruptions have claimed around 5000 to 6000 lives and is also known as the Decade Volcano.
8. Mt. Merapi, Indonesia
This volcano is known as the most active and destructive volcanoes on Earth. Merapi is Indonesion for Mountain of Fire. Mt. Merapi Volcano is erupting regularly since the year 1548. Located close to Yogyakarta, this volcano is active from the past 10000 years. Eruptions around this volcano have claimed many lives and rendered many people homeless.
7. Mt. Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo
Known as one of the most active volcanos in Africa, this volcano is home to many lava lakes. These lakes are based in the mountain’s crater. Mt. Nyiragongo has posed threat to the residents in the neighbouring areas before and major eruptions have also caused danger. Evacuation of residents in time avoided possibility of damage to life and property.
6. Sakurajima, Japan
Sakurajima volcano belongs to the composite category of volcanoes. Originally an independent island, volcanic eruptions in the year 1914 caused extensive lava flow from this island. This established connections between this island and the mainland of Japan. This volcano is highly active and dangerous. Annual eruptions of smaller intensity from the peak of this volcano throw pieces of ash into the adjoining areas. In the wake of explosions of a higher magnitude, the threat of damafe to residents in the neighbouring areas is evident. Kagoshima, a city close to this volcano has volcanic shelters made specially in the wake of this threat.
5. Galeras, Colombia
Active for more than 100000 years, Galaras is located in Southern Columbia. The last explosion here was documented in 1580. Around 450000 people reside in the slopes of this volcano in a city called Pasto. Volcanic eruptions are a regular feature after this volcano became active in the year 1988 since its dormancy period in the year 1978. Periodic volcanic eruptions have occurred here since 2000.
4. Popocatépetl, Mexico
Albeit to being a covered by glacier, this volcano is active and is based around 35 miles from the city of Mexico. 20 documented eruptions have taken place since the year 1519. The latest explosion happened in 2000. The only thing that averted a major catastrophe and widespread damage to life and property was timely evacuation and crisis management.
3. Yellowstone Caldera, USA
This is a super volcano surrounded by vivacious springs at National Park, USA. Surrounded by beautiful and breathtaking landscapes, the National Park houses this volcano which has the ability to destroy and erase the entire Western part of the USA. Although no explosion has ever occurred in this park, more than 2 million years ago a super volcanic eruption was documented to be 25 times more in magnitude as compared to the destructive St. Helens explosion in 1980. The ash from this explosion spread to all parts of the globe.
2. Mount Vesuvius, Italy
Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano in Campania, Italy. The last dangerous volcanic activity here led to destruction of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. This volcano erupts once in 2 decades. The last eruption of this volcano occurred in the year 1944 and the risk this volcano poses is high due to its proximity to the city of Naples. Mount Vesuvius is just 5 miles away from Naples. This volcano is known as one of the most populous volcanic area on earth.
1. Mauna Loa, Hawaii
This volcano has the maximum surface area and volume and is considered the biggest volcano in the world. Mauna Lao is a part of the Hawaii island which also includes 5 more volcanoes. From the past millenniums, this volcano has erupted regularly and the most recent explosion dates back to 1984. Although the lava flowing from this volcano is dangerous and destructive, its slow speed of progression minimizes its risk to lives. But in case of bigger explosions, the speed increases and may cause danger to the surrounding residents. This volcano is also likely to cause landslides. Although rare, these landslides pose severe threat to the surrounding flora and fauna.