Many active volcanoes around the world are considered dangerous due to their proximity to densely populated areas and the potential for deadly consequences. These volcanoes are capable of threatening nearby communities with pyroclastic flows, tsunamis, and mudflows composed of ash and melted glacial ice. So, we compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Active Volcanoes in the World. You can also read the article Top 10 Most Dangerous Active Volcanoes in Asia (Updated) from the World’s #1 Source of Research-Based Content, The Daily Top 10.
Active volcanoes are either erupting or likely to erupt. Do you know that a volcano that is currently active but not erupting is known as a “dormant volcano?” According to Volcano, 49 volcanoes were continuously erupting as of April 14, 2023. Approximately 20 volcanoes among those 49 are actively erupting and displaying signs of activity.
Do you need to know more? So, in this article, we will discuss the Top 10 Most Dangerous Active Volcanoes in the World.
What is the Most Dangerous Active Volcano in the World?
There are many active volcanoes around the world. They are considered to be dangerous because of their history, the number of people living near them, or the type of magma they have. In addition, population density, magma type, and eruption history all play a role in determining which volcanoes are the most dangerous.
Before discussing the Most Dangerous Active Volcano in the World, it’s worth examining the rest of the other hazardous volcanoes individually.
Mount Vesuvius (Italy)
Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano located on Italy’s west coast. It sits in the crater of the ancient Somma volcano and overlooks the bay and city of Naples. The most well-known thing about Vesuvius is that it blew its top in 79 AD, destroying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Vesuvius is part of the Campanian volcanic arc, which is a line of volcanoes that grew over a place where the African and Eurasian plates met and slid under each other. According to Geology, the volcano is seen as a big threat to the cities around it, especially the busy city of Naples.
Popocatépetl, located in central Mexico, is an active stratovolcano. It is on the border between the states of Mexico and Puebla. This volcano is on the border between the states of Mexico and Puebla and lies on the southern edge of the Mexican Plateau, along the Cordillera Neo-Volcánica in Mexico. Due to its proximity to large urban areas including Mexico City, Popocatepetl is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in North America.
Popocatepetl is situated 10 miles south of its twin, Iztacchuatl, and 45 miles southeast of Mexico City. In Nahuatl, this mountain is also called “Smoking Mountain.” As per Britannica, Popocatépetl has erupted several times in recent years. The last time was in 2004, and it is still going on. The National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) closely monitors this volcano and provides regular updates on its activity and potential hazards.
Mount Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is home to an active stratovolcano called Mount Nyiragongo. It is located approximately 12 km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu, and situated just west of the Rwandan border, lies the Virunga National Park. The main crater is about 2 kilometers wide and often has a lake of lava in it.
Nyiragongo is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Africa because it is close to a highly populated area and its lava flows quickly. According to Mountnyriagongo, the volcano has erupted more than once in the last few years as the last eruption occurred on May 22, 2021.
Mount Rainier (USA)
In the Pacific Northwest, you can find Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano. It is part of the Cascade Range and as per the NPS, it is about 59 miles south-southeast of Seattle, in Mount Rainier National Park. With a peak elevation of 14,411 feet above sea level, this mountain is the tallest in both the Cascade Range and the state of Washington.
Mount Rainier is thought to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because it is very likely to erupt soon. As the mountain has a lot of glacial ice, it could make huge lahars, which are volcanic mudflows that could threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.
Mount Etna (Italy)
Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano, that is located on the eastern side of Sicily. It is in the Catania Metropolitan City, which is between Messina and Catania, and is the most active volcano in Europe. As mentioned in Wikipedia, Its highest point is about 10,900 feet (3,320 meters) above sea level.
It is also called Mongibello in Italian and Muncibbeu or Muntagna in Sicilian. The Greek word means “I burn,” which is where the name Etna comes from. This volcano is monitored by the Catania Astrophysical Observatory, which has installed sensors and cameras to detect and observe its activity.
Mauna Loa (USA)
On the Hawaiian island of Hawaii, there is a volcano named Mauna Loa that is currently active and is located in the south-central part of the island. It is in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is thought to be the largest volcano in the world. Mauna Loa is a mountain that rises gradually to more than 4 km (13,100 ft) above sea level.
Mauna Loa ranks among the few most active volcanoes worldwide, since its first known eruption in 1843. This volcano takes up half of the island of Hawaii and about 85% of the area of all the other Hawaiian Islands put together. As per USGS, Mauna Loa erupted 34 times. Since 1868, its eruption made big, heavy flows of basalt that have reached the ocean eight times.
Mount Agung (Indonesia)
The active stratovolcano Mount Agung is found in Indonesia on the island of Bali, and is known in Indonesian and Balinese as Gunung Agung, which means “Great Mountain”. In 2017, Mount Agung erupted for the first time in over 50 years, causing widespread evacuation and flight cancellations.
Mount Agung has erupted many times in the past. It dominates the area around it and affects the weather, especially the way it rains. As per Geology, the highest point on Bali is at 9944 feet (3031 meters) above sea level. Despite its dangerous nature, Mount Agung is a popular destination for hikers and adventurers, offering breathtaking views of Bali’s natural beauty.
Can you guess a volcano which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site? It is Mount Fuji, an active stratovolcano located in Honshu, the largest island of Japan. As stated in the Japan Guide, it is the highest mountain in Japan, standing at 3,776.24 meters tall, and is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains.”
Mount Fuji is most popular with its symmetrical cone shape, which has made it an iconic symbol of Japan and a popular subject in art and photography. With that, this mountain has a rich cultural history and has been considered a sacred site for centuries. Most importantly, climbing Mount Fuji is a popular activity, and the climbing season typically runs from July to early September.
Mount Merapi (Indonesia)
Indonesia is home to many active stratovolcanoes including Mount Merapi, which lies at the boundary between the Central Java province and the Special Region Yogyakarta. In Indonesian and Javanese, it is called Gunung Merapi, which means “Fire Mountain” in English. It is Indonesia’s most active volcano, and it has been erupting often since 1548.
Mount Merapi is near Yogyakarta. According to Indonesia Travel, there are about 500 volcanoes in Indonesia, and at least 129 of them are still active. This group of volcanoes is called the “Ring of Fire,” and it is made up of islands in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mount Pinatubo (Philippines)
The Philippines’ Mount Pinatubo is present on the island of Luzon. According to Guide To Philippines, it is in the middle of the Zambales mountain range, about 55 miles northwest of Manila, the country’s capital city.
In 1991, its eruption was the second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century and was responsible for widespread destruction. Accordingly, Mount Pinatubo is the most dangerous volcano in the world because of its potential for large explosive eruptions and its location in a densely populated area.
What are the Most Dangerous Active Volcanoes in the World?
These active volcanoes are dangerous for many reasons. One of the primary reasons is that they have several negative environmental effects. When a volcano erupts, it can cause floods, mudslides, power outages, contaminates drinking water, and wildfires, all of which pose health risks.
Here is the list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Active Volcanoes in the World:
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