Volcanoes are unpredictable, deadly and fascinating.
They can be dormant for even many centuries, so people visit their mighty peaks, grow crops on rich volcanic
soils, even build houses in their vicinity.
When these one day erupt, the power of nature is so intense that nothing in their vicinity can survive.
We will now explore some of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
Mt. Vesuvius, Italy
Mt. Vesuvius is one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes.
It has an eruption cycle of about 20 years, but the last eruption was in 1944. In 79 A.D. the volcano destroyed Pompeii burying the city and its inhabitants under 30 meters of lapilli stones and ash.
Mt. Vesuvius, fascinating and dangerous tourist attraction is
still active and since the Pompeii disaster, it has had several eruptions; the most deadly occurred in 1631.
When will the next eruption come?
Mt. St. Helens, Washington State, US.
Mt. St Helens is another very powerful volcano, especially famous for its one of the largest eruptions that occurred in May 1980.
When it happened, three states in the US, namely Montana, Idaho and Washington were seriously affected.
A large cloud of ash turned day into black night.
Tons of dangerous ash was falling like rain, blocking roads and destroying motor engines.
Rural farming areas looked like grey deserts and crops were destroyed.
Hundreds of people were taken to hospitals with sore eyes and skin rashes due to the acid in the ashfall.
Fish polluted in waters covering thousands of miles, were found floating on the surface. All killed by chemicals poisoning.
Luckily, only 57 people were killed because the residents living in the vicinity, know that it is too dangerous to have a house too close Mt. Helens.
Since 1980, some minor eruptions have been registered. They begin to form a new little cone inside the partially destroyed one.
Experts say that a new disastrous eruption is on its way.
Kilauea Volcano, Big Island. Hawai'i
Kilauea is the youngest and most active Hawaiian shield volcano, located on the southern part of the Island of Hawai'i,
known as Big Island. Hawai'i is the southernmost and largest of the island chain, which owes its existence to the very
active Hawaiian hot spot.
Kilauea volcano is near-constantly erupting and have one of the most long-lived eruptions known on earth.
The volcano’s 4,090-foot (1,250-metre) summit has collapsed to form a caldera, a broad shallow depression nearly 3
miles (5 km) long and 2 miles (3.2 km) wide with an area of more than 4 square miles (10 square km).
Mt. Pelée, Martinique, in the Lesser Antilles Islands
Mt. Pelée seems dormant but when it wakes up it is very dangerous.
The catastrophic eruption on May 8, 1902, destroyed the main town of Saint-Pierre situated four miles away and killed its 30,000 inhabitants.
Almost all the deaths were caused by a fast-moving cloud composed of liquidized particles and hot gases flowing down the flanks of the volcano.
Only two residents of the town miraculously survived the flow.
Today scientists are aware of the existence of this deadly mixture coming out of a volcano and known as pyroclastic flow.
One hundreds of years ago, this type of eruption was unknown.
Other eruptions occurred earlier but the most destructive eruption of the XIX century was that of 1902.
Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia
On November 13, 1985 Nevado del Ruiz ejected pyroclastic flows melting ice cap at the summit of the volcano.
It caused, one of the greatest volcanic hazards - large lahars or mudflows running down along the volcanic slopes.
The sleeping town of Armero, Columbia was covered with boiling hot mudflows and 23,000 people were killed in one night!
It happened without any warning at all. Naturally, such deadly eruption can easily occur again in the future and without any warning.
Most of the inhabitants of Armero would have a chance to survive if they had moved from the dead zone to higher regions.
Mt. Tambora, Indonesia
Mt. Tambora's last and largest eruption during the last two centuries was recorded in 1815.
On April 10-11, 1815, the volcano exploded killing about 92000 people and changed the global climate.
The amount of ashes erupted was about 93 cubic miles and it spread, cooling the atmosphere of the whole the world, with significant and
anomalous climatic effects.
The year 1816 was recorded as the "year without a summer". Most of crops were destroyed, and in North Europe and North America, about
100,000 people died for starvation as a consequence of this dangerous eruption. The 3 m (9.8 ft) deep pyroclastic deposits buried all crops
causing the agricultural devastation and death of the most of livestock in much of the Northern Hemisphere.
Krakatau Volcano, Indonesia
The eruption of Krakatau volcano, Indonesia, in August 1883, is well-known for its destruction of 2/3 of the island and killing of about 36,000 people.
The violent explosion was heard almost 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) away.
The Krakatau eruption produced pyroclastic flows and falling of ashes that killed about 4,600 people.
The five cubic miles of ejecta covered the surrounding areas in darkness for over two days and caused a series of dramatic sunsets around the world
throughout the following year. The explosion and subsequent collapse of the volcano left only a remnant of the island above sea level.
The force of the eruption was so powerful that the flanks of the Krakatau collapsed into the ocean.
It triggered a series of tsunamis that reached the Hawaiian islands and the coast of South America and surprised
all people living in the low-lying coastal communities in the vicinity of the volcano.
About 32,000 people were killed by the tsunamis, making the 1883 eruption one of the deadliest in history.
Is also Krakatau only dormant now? How long will it take before the volcano wakes up for a new explosion?
Mount Pinatubo, Philippines
Mount Pinatubo's eruption on June 12, 1991 produced great amounts of ashes and SO2 (sulfur dioxide).
The volcano killed almost 800 and left about 100,000 homeless.
Three days later, the volcano exploded in the second-largest volcanic eruption on Earth in this century,
this time it was 10 times larger than the Mount St. Helens' eruption and one of the biggest of the 20th century.
It emitted a cloud of smoke and ash over 19 miles high.
Timely forecasts of this eruption by scientists from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and the U.S.
Geological Survey enabled the evacuation of more than 70,000 people living near the volcano, saving at least 5,000 lives.
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