According to USGS, there are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide. Apart from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where belts of volcanoes are spread on the ocean floor. The “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Rim is the most seismically active region on the planet with the northwestern segment. There are 169 potentially active volcanoes only in the United States. A volcanic eruption can be very dangerous but what makes the situation even more dangerous is when a big population of people resides near the active volcanoes. And in that way, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia have the largest population living near a volcano. Here are the 10 Potentially Dangerous Volcanoes In The World:
1. Mount Fuji, Japan
Japan is one of the most seismically active places on the planet a country within the Pacific Ring of Fire that has over 100 active volcanoes. It’s a major concern for volcanologists as Japan has thousands of residents living near many of its active volcanoes. The Empire of the Sun’s most notable landmark, Mount Fuji hasn’t blown its top for over 300 years but it eventually will. And experts believe that eruption can also trigger a huge earthquake. The other most dangerous volcanoes in Japan are Sakurajima, Aira Caldera, Iwo Jima and Mount Aso.
2. Taal, Philippines
Alike Japan, Philippines is also a Pacific nation. Its collection of islands is home to many volcanoes. Taal is arguably the most dangerous one as it is located near some substantial urban areas, on the main island of Luzon. This volcano has a large lake nestled in the bowl of its caldera. When the eruption occurs, it can create a deadly explosion mixing the red-hot lava with the lake water.
3. Vesuvius & Phlegraean Fields, Italy
Vesuvius might have been quiet since 1944, but it is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world which can kill millions of people as the city of Naples is located so near it. Vesuvius has erupted numerous times in the past. In the past, Vesuvius has been responsible for destroying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, along with other settlements. Along with the nearby caldera of the Phlegraean Fields and other volcanoes in the region, Vesuvius is the result of the collision of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates. Located west of Naples, Phlegraean Fields is a restless volcano located partially under the Bay of Naples.
4. Merapi, Indonesia
Translating in “Mountain of Fire,” Merapi is considered the most active volcano in Indonesia. It burst into flames in 2010 and killed 350 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. The volcano is located in the centre of the island of Java and has been erupting almost continuously since the sixteenth century, the most recent episode was on May 2018. Gunung Agung & Gunung Kelud are two of the most dangerous volcanoes also located in Indonesia.
5. Krakatoa, Indonesia
Krakatoa is famous for its 1883 eruption which occurred on August 27 and was heard from 5,000 kilometres away. The eruption destroyed almost three-quarters of the archipelago of Krakatoa, triggering tsunamis and killing more than 36,000 people. It released a quantity of energy 13,000 times greater than the atomic bomb of Hiroshima. The eruption created a worldwide change in weather that lasted for over a year. In 1927, the volcano created a new island, Anak Krakatau or Son of Krakatoa. This new island grows at an average of almost seven metres a year and has been in an eruptive phase since 1994. The location of Krakatoa makes it even more dangerous.
6. Popocatépetl, Mexico
Latin American countries are also home to some potentially dangerous volcanoes. Mexico’s Trans Mexico Volcanic Belt, Michoacan-Guanajuato and Popocatépetl all have the potential for a destructive eruption. This huge, active volcano only 50 miles southeast of Mexico City, has a dense population nearby. The volcano was covered with snow once but now due to an increase in volcanic activity, it’s not snow-covered anymore.
7. Mayon, Philippines
Another volcano in the Philippines also located on Luzon island is Mayon. situated next to the Gulf of Albay in a populated area on the southeast corner of the island, Mayon has been very much active in the 21st century. Mayon should be watched carefully.
8. Santa Maria, Guatemala
In 1902, the Santa Maria volcano of Guatemala killed more than 5,000 people after erupting violently. Only minor activities have occurred since then. But the people living near the volcano should be alert as Santa Maria can erupt once again destroying thousands of lives.
9. Mount Rainier, Washington, US
The US is home to many potentially dangerous volcanoes, from the Mauna Loa, Hawaii to Mount St Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington. The last time Mt. Rainier erupted was in the 1890s but the volcano shows extremely regular seismic activity. Mt. Rainier is a large volcano which is surrounded by dense populations of people and it also holds massive amounts of lahar causing glacial ice. Even a weak eruption of Mt. Rainier can have devastating effects.
10. Arenal, Guatemala
Almost all the Latin American countries along the borders of the Pacific Ocean has at least one active volcano. Arenal, located in Guatemala, violently awoke on July 29, 1968 killing 87 people and destroying 3 small villages. Arenal has the potential to erupt frequently and violently which makes it one of the most dangerous volcanoes.
Have you visited any of these volcanoes? Which one would you like to visit? Do volcanoes scare you? Do let us know in the comments below.