Volcanoes

Volcanoes

Active volcanoes in the U.S. are found mainly in Hawaii, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest. The United States is one of the most volcanically rich countries in the world, with 169 active and dormant volcanoes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Worldwide, around 500 million people live near volcanoes, the majority of them in cities, according to a Munich Re analysis, which identified major cities at risk of volcanoes, including: Auckland (Auckland volcanic field); Vancouver (Mt. Baker); Seattle (Mt. Rainier); Tacoma (Mt. Rainier); Portland (Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens); Mexico City (Xitli); Surabaya (Ardjuno-Welirang); Semarang (Sundoro-Sumbing); Manila (Taal) and Tokyo (Fujiyama).

 

THE TEN COSTLIEST GLOBAL VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS, 1970-2013 (1)

($ millions)

Rank Year Event Affected country Overall losses Insured losses Fatalities
1 1993 Eruption of Unzen Japan $1,500 $130 1
2 1980 Explosion Mt. St. Helens United States 860 31 57
3 1991 Eruption of Pinatubo Philippines 750 70 875
4 1995/1996, 2003 Eruption of Soufrière Hills Montserrat 430 50 19
5 2010 Eruption of Mt. Merapi Indonesia 380 NA 353
6 1994 Eruption of Tavurvur, Rabalanakaia Papua New Guinea 300 66 4
7 1985 Eruption of Nevado del Ruiz Colombia 230 NA 25,000
8 1973 Eruption of Helgafell Iceland 200 NA NA
9 2006 Eruption of Tungurahua Ecuador 150 NA 6
10 1983 Eruption of Gamalama Indonesia 150 NA NA

(1) Ranked on overall losses.

NA=Data not available.

Source: Munich Re, GeoRisks Research, NatCatSERVICE. As of August 2014.

View Archived Tables

 

 

THE FIVE DEADLIEST VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS, NORTH, SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA, 1900-2013

Rank Year Event Location Deaths
1 1902 Eruption of Pelée Martinique: Mt. Pelee, St. Pierre 29,000
2 1985 Eruption of Nevado del Ruiz Colombia: Central, Armero, Tolima, Chinchina, Caldas, Manizales 25,000
3 1902 Eruption of Santa Maria Guatemala    6,000
4 1982 Volcanic activity, El Chichon Mexico: South, Chiapas; Tabasco 1,877
5 1902 Eruption of La Soufrière Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: La Soufrière 1,500

Source: Munich Re, Geo Risks Research, NatCatSERVICE.

View Archived Tables

 

 

SIGNIFICANT VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS

(Deadliest and costliest events)

Source: © Munich Re, Geo Risks Research, NatCatSERVICE. As of August 2014.

View Archived Graphs

 

 

THE TEN DEADLIEST GLOBAL VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS, 0079-2013

Rank Year Event Affected country Fatalities
1 1815 Eruption of Tambora Indonesia 92,000
2 1883 Eruption of Krakatau, tsunami Indonesia 36,400
3 1902 Eruption of Pelée Martinique more than 29,000
4 1985 Eruption of Nevado del Ruiz Colombia 25,000
5 1669-1682 Eruption of Etna Italy 20,000
6 0079 Eruption of Vesuvius Italy 18,000
7 1169 Eruption of Etna Italy 15,000
8 1792 Eruption of Unzen Japan 15,000
9 1586 Eruption of Kelut Indonesia 10,000
10 1783-1784 Eruption of Laki Iceland more than 9,500

Source: © Munich Re, GeoRisks Research, NatCatSERVICE. As of August 2014.

 

View Archived Tables