The Icelandic volcano has been wreaking havoc as it continues to erupt. It also grounded thousands of flights and cause chaos to tens of thousands of travelers who needed to get to their next destination. In the past few days, Denmark, Italy, and other European countries are opening their skies to traffic.
Let’s take a look at some volcanoes around the globe which can potentially bring bad news to all of us.
Chaiten Volcano (Southern Chile)
Chaiten was in deep slumber for 9,000 years until it decided to wake up in 2008, spewing ash for miles into the sky. A town with the same name about 6 miles away was devastated by floods and ashfall. It was a nightmare coming true for some 4,500 folks living there. At least one casualty was reported after the eruption and it is a clear reminder that dormant volcanoes can still pose some danger.
Mount Vesuvius (Italy)
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 erased the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii on the map. It is considered as among the most dangerous volcanoes today because of the growing population and settlement around Vesuvius. Experts are afraid that the pictures can be catastrophic if warning systems fail and evacuation plans do not work out if ever Vesuvius wakes up.
Mount Pinatubo (Philippines)
Although the crater and surrounding communities of Mount Pinatubo are now a tourist destination, it was far from being the picture when it erupted in 1991. The volcano spewed ash that dropped the earth’s temperature by a few degrees and it released volcanic materials that erased several towns in the northern portion of the island of Luzon. An American-based was abandoned because of the flurry of ash, mud, and rain. About 800 people died and millions of dollars lost in the rice-growing region of the Philippines. Thousands of people including aborigines still live along the foot of the mountain.
Popo is the 2nd tallest active volcano in North America. It rumbled back in 2000 but it was most active during the early 1920s. West of the volcano is a town of about 2 million and a major tantrum of this napping monster can spell disaster with ash covering the sky, mudslides, and nightmares for the valleys just below.
Mount Merapi (Indonesia)
This volcano in Indonesia is among the most active ones in the world. It regularly blows its top and releases ash and hot gas into the sky. Add to that rocks going down its side and mud. Looking at its recent history, 60 people died when it released a gas cloud back in 1994 and in 1930 about 1,300 were reported dead after its eruption. Locals living on the foot of Merapi who believe that the spirits will warn them if it will erupt make the whole picture more dangerous.
Mount Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa)
Usually, the lava that flows from an erupting volcano is not that deadly. They ooze really slow and normally people can outrun it. The lava flowing from this volcano in Congo paints a different picture. Lava from Nyirangongo has very little amount of silica which is responsible for thickening and slowing the lava. Back in 2002, lava gushed out of its mouth and went down rushing at speeds of 60 miles per hour to the shock of the nearby town serving as home to about 500,000.
Experts are afraid that the next big drainage of lava from the volcano can be fatal for the surrounding towns.
Nevada del Ruiz (Colombia)
It was like an engine warming up as the Nevada del Ruiz volcano cause the land the shake before it erupted in November of 1985. The materials that streamed from its crater melted the snowcap and sent hot mud to wipe out Chinchina. About 1,927 people were killed in that village. A second draining went through the same path erasing the town of Armero and killing about 23,000 people. It was Colombia’s worst disaster caused by nature so far. Experts have called for the establishment of an early warning system to avoid the loss of lives.
Mount Fuji (Japan)
There are about 100 volcanoes in the islands of Japan. A number of them are very active and erupt annually. The picturesque Mount Fuji has been asleep since 1707 and low-frequency tremors in 2000 and in 2001 alerted the authorities. Mount Fuji is very quiet so far but experts are afraid of what it will do after more than 300 years of sleep and what danger it can pose to Tokyo which is home to about 30 million people. A study puts the worst-case scenario to bring damages amounting to $20 billion-plus the potential deaths it brings.
Mount Rainier (Washington)
The 14,410 feet high Mount Rainier is a big tourist attraction in Washington. According to experts, it also poses a big threat to the state. Around 3 million people live along its foot with about 100,000 building their homes on hardened traces of previous mudflows of the sleeping volcano. The flow lahar is the greatest danger this volcano brings. It gives enough warnings to see when it might erupt but a burp of ash, gas, or rock can send rushing lahar down to residents who only have between 10 and 15 minutes to go to safety.
This list of the most dangerous volcanoes can really be stretched with every volcano posing as a big threat to people, livestock, structures, agriculture, and the environment. There is nothing really that we can do when the earth needs to vent out whatever is inside.