Popocatepetl volcano (Mexico): largest eruption in 2012 on 16 April, heavy ash fall

Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City had one of its largest eruptions this year yesterday 16 April. An explosion produced an ash plume rising 2 km and caused ash fall, up to 7 cm thick, in over 30 communities near the volcano. Strong incandescence can be seen at night from the summit, suggesting that fresh magma is arriving there building up a new lava dome. An 12 km exclusion zone was declared around the volcano.

A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet’s surface or crust, which allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases to escape from below the surface. Erupting volcanoes can pose many hazards, not only in the immediate vicinity of the eruption. Volcanic ash can be a threat to aircraft, in particular those with jet engines where ash particles can be melted by the high operating temperature.

A volcano from a distance might look beautiful but is reality we can’t even imagine its level of harms and losses. There are many cities that have these volcano mountains. It’s amazing feeling of having your home right in front of a mountain from where you can daily have a beautiful scene all the time. But it becomes dangerous when that mountain contains a volcano which is almost very deadly and its sight is BREATHE TAKING.

Many people daily face this because there are many volcanoes which erupt daily. The scene looks like some fireworks are taking place. When you will watch these pictures you will find them beautiful but trust me these volcanoes are deadly horrible and are the most dangerous activity inside and outside the earth.

10 Decade Volcanoes feature in our list: Mount Etna, Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Vesuvius, Mount Rainier, Sakurajima, Galeras, Mount Pelée, Mauna Loa, Mount Unzen and Mount Merapi. These and other volcanoes on our planet could erupt at any moment, mopping nearby arrangement s– and their residents – from the face of the ground.

1. Yogyakarta – Mount Merapi

Yogyakarta – Mount MerapiYogyakarta – Mount Merapi

Mount Merapi, Gunung Merapi, is an active stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. It is located approximately 28 kilometres (17 mi) north of Yogyakarta city, and thousands of people live on the flanks of the volcano, with villages as high as 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) above sea level.

The name Merapi could be loosely translated as ‘Mountain of Fire’. The etymology of the name came from Meru-Api; from the Javanese combined words; Meru means “mountain” refer to mythical mountain of Gods in Hinduism, and api means “fire”. Smoke can be seen emerging from the mountaintop at least 300 days a year and several eruptions have caused fatalities.

Hot gas from a large explosion killed 27 people on 22 November in 1994, mostly in the town of Muntilan, west of the volcano. Another large eruption occurred in 2006, shortly before the Yogyakarta earthquake. In light of the hazards that Merapi poses to populated areas, it has been designated as one of the Decade Volcanoes.

On 25 October 2010 the Indonesian government raised the alert for Mount Merapi to its highest level and warned villagers in threatened areas to move to safer ground. People living within a 20 km (12 mi) zone were told to evacuate. Officials said about 500 volcanic earthquakes had been recorded on the mountain over the weekend of 23–24 October, and that the magma had risen to about 1 kilometer (3,300 ft) below the surface due to the seismic activity.

On the afternoon of 25 October 2010 Mount Merapi erupted lava from its southern and southeastern slopes. The mountain was still erupting on 30 November 2010 however due to lowered eruptive activity on 3 December 2010 the official alert status was reduced to level 3.The volcano is now 2930 metres high, 38 metres lower than before the 2010 eruptions.

2. Naples – Mount Vesuvius

Naples – Mount VesuviusNaples – Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, although it is not currently erupting.

The two other major active volcanoes in Italy, Etna and Stromboli, are located on the islands of Sicily and Stromboli respectively. Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. They were never rebuilt, although surviving townspeople and probably looters did undertake extensive salvage work after the destruction. The towns’ locations were eventually forgotten until their accidental rediscovery in the 18th century.

The eruption also changed the course of the Sarno River and raised the sea beach, so that Pompeii was now neither on the river nor adjacent to the coast. Vesuvius itself underwent major changes – its slopes were denuded of vegetation and its summit changed considerably due to the force of the eruption.

Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is today regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living nearby and its tendency towards explosive (Plinian) eruptions. It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world.

3. Shimabara – Mount Unzen

Shimabara – Mount UnzenShimabara – Mount Unzen

Mount Unzen is an active volcanic group of several overlapping strato volcanoes, near the city of Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture, on the island of Kyūshū, Japan’s southernmost main island.

In 1792, the collapse of one of its several lava domes triggered a mega tsunami that killed about 15,000 people in Japan’s worst-ever volcanic-related disaster. The volcano was most recently active from 1990 to 1995, and a large eruption in 1991 generated a pyroclastic flow that killed 43 people, including three volcanologists.

4. Seattle – Mount Rainier

Seattle – Mount RainierSeattle – Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, United States. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of 14,411 feet (4,392 m).

Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list. Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.

5. St. Pierre – Mount Pelée

St. Pierre – Mount PeléeSt. Pierre – Mount Pelée

Mount Pelée is an active volcano at the northern end of the island and French overseas department of Martinique in the Lesser Antilles island arc of the Caribbean. Its volcanic cone is composed of layers of volcanic ash and hardened lava. The stratovolcano is famous for its eruption in 1902 and the destruction that resulted, dubbed the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century.

The eruption killed about 30,000 people. Most deaths were caused by pyroclastic flows and occurred in the city of Saint-Pierre, which was, at that time, the largest city on the island.

Pyroclastic flows completely destroyed St. Pierre, a town of 30,000 people, within minutes of the eruption. The eruption left only two survivors in the direct path of the volcano (with a third reported): Louis-Auguste Cyparis survived because he was in a poorly ventilated, dungeon-like jail cell; Léon Compère-Léandre, living on the edge of the city, escaped with severe burns.

Havivra Da Ifrile, a young girl, reportedly escaped with injuries during the eruption by taking a small boat to a cave down shore, and was later found adrift two miles (3 km) from the island, unconscious. The event marked the only major volcanic disaster in the history of France and its overseas territories.

6. Pasto – Galeras

Pasto – GalerasPasto – Galeras

Galeras (Urcunina among the 16th-century indigenous people) is an Andean stratovolcano in the Colombian department of Nariño, near the departmental capital Pasto. Its summit rises 4,276 metres (14,029 ft) above sea level. It has erupted frequently since the Spanish conquest, with its first historical eruption being recorded on December 7, 1580.

A 1993 eruption killed nine people, including six scientists who had descended into the volcano’s crater to sample gases. It is currently the most active volcano in Colombia.

Galeras has been an active volcano for at least a million years, with andesite as the dominant product. Two major caldera-forming eruptions have occurred, the first about 560,000 years ago in an eruption which expelled about 15 cubic kilometres (3.6 cu mi) of material.

The second some time between 40,000 and 150,000 years ago, in a smaller but still sizable eruption of 2 cubic kilometers (0.48 cu mi) of material. Subsequently, part of the caldera wall has collapsed, possibly due to instabilities caused by hydrothermal activity, and later eruptions have built up a smaller cone inside the now horseshoe-shaped caldera.

In light of its violent eruptive history and proximity to the 450,000 people of Pasto, Galeras was designated a Decade Volcano in 1991, identifying it as a target for detailed study as part of the United Nations’ International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.

7. Goma – Mount Nyiragongo

Goma – Mount NyiragongoGoma – Mount Nyiragongo

Mount Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Albertine Rift. It is located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 20 km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda.

The main crater is about two km wide and usually contains a lava lake. The crater presently has two distinct cooled lava benches within the crater walls – one at about 3175m (10,400 ft) and a lower one at about 2975 m (9800 ft). Nyiragongo’s lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably.

A maximum elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3250 m (10,700 ft) prior to the January 1977 eruption – a lake depth of about 600 m (2000 ft). A recent very low elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 2700 m (8800 ft). Nyiragongo and nearby Nyamuragira are together responsible for 40% of Africa’s historical volcanic eruptions.

8. Hilo – Mauna Loa

Hilo – Mauna LoaHilo – Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi in the Pacific Ocean, and the largest on Earth in terms of volume and area covered. It is an active shield volcano, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km3), although its peak is about 120 feet (37 m) lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea.

The Hawaiian name “Mauna Loa” means “Long Mountain”. Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor, and very fluid; eruptions tend to be non-explosive and the volcano has relatively shallow slopes.

Mauna Loa has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years, and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago. The oldest-known dated rocks are not older than 200,000 years. The volcano’s magma comes from the Hawaii hotspot, which has been responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian island chain over tens of millions of years.

The slow drift of the Pacific Plate will eventually carry Mauna Loa away from the hotspot within 500,000 to one million years from now, at which point it will become extinct.

Mauna Loa’s most recent eruption occurred from March 24, 1984, through April 15, 1984. No recent eruptions of the volcano have caused fatalities, but eruptions in 1926 and 1950 destroyed villages, and the city of Hilo is partly built on lava flows from the late 19th century.

In view of the hazards it poses to population centers, Mauna Loa is part of the Decade Volcanoes program, which encourages studies of the most dangerous volcanoes. Mauna Loa has been intensively monitored by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory since 1912.

Observations of the atmosphere are undertaken at the Mauna Loa Observatory, and of the Sun at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory, both located near its summit. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park covers the summit and the southeastern flank of the volcano, including a separate volcano, Kīlauea.

Mauna Loa is the world’s largest shield volcano in terms of area covered. Mauna Loa is shaped like a shield, because its lava is extremely fluid (it has low viscosity), and its slopes are not steep. Eruptions are rarely violent, and the most common form is in the Hawaiian style, which involves lava fountains feeding lava flows. Typically, at the start of an eruption, a rift up to several kilometers long opens, with lava fountains occurring along its length in a so-called “curtain of fire.” After a few days, activity normally becomes concentrated at one vent.

9. Catania – Mount Etna

Catania – Mount EtnaCatania – Mount Etna

Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, currently standing 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions; the mountain is 21 m (69 ft) higher than it was in 1981.

It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 (459 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius.

Only Mount Teide in Tenerife surpasses it in the whole of the European-North-African region. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky, and the forges of Hephaestus were said to also be located underneath it.

Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.

10. Kagoshima – Sakurajima

Kagoshima – SakurajimaKagoshima – Sakurajima

Sakurajima ,also romanized as Sakurashima or Sakura-jima, is an active composite volcano (stratovolcano) and a former island (now connected to the mainland) of the same name in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyūshū, Japan. The lava flows of the 1914 eruption caused the former island to be connected with the Osumi Peninsula.

The volcanic activity still continues, dropping large amounts of volcanic ash on the surroundings. Earlier eruptions built the white sands highlands in the region.
Sakurajima is a composite mountain. Its summit is split into three peaks, Kita-dake (northern peak), Naka-dake (central peak) and Minami-dake (southern peak) which is active now.

Today’s Kita-dake is Sakurajima’s highest, rising to 1,117 metres (3,665 ft) above sea level. The mountain is located in a part of Kagoshima Bay known as Kinkō-wan. The former island is part of the city of Kagoshima. The surface of this volcanic peninsula is about 77 square kilometers (30 sq mi).

Sakurajima is located in the Aira caldera, formed in an enormous eruption 22,000 years ago. Several hundred cubic kilometers of ash and pumice were ejected, causing the magma chamber underneath the erupting vents to collapse. The resulting caldera is over 20 kilometers (12 mi) across. Tephra fell as far as 1,000 kilometers (620 mi) from the volcano. Sakurajima is a modern active vent of the same Aira caldera volcano.

Sakurajima was formed by later activity within the caldera, beginning about 13,000 years ago. It lies about 8 kilometers (5 mi) south of the center of the caldera. Its first eruption in recorded history occurred in 963 AD. Most of its eruptions are strombolian, affecting only the summit areas, but larger plinian eruptions have occurred in 1471–1476, 1779–1782 and 1914.

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