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 VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS, 1970-2009

($ 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 27 57
3 1991 Eruption of Pinatubo Philippines 750 70 875
4 1995/1996, 2003 Eruption of Soufriere Hills Montserrat 430 50 19
5 1994 Eruption of Tavurvur, Rabalanakaia Papua New Guinea 300 66 4
6 1985 Eruption of Nevado del Ruiz Colombia 230 NA 25,000
7 1973 Eruption of Helgafell Iceland 200 NA NA
8 2006 Eruption of Tungurahua Ecuador 150 NA 6
9 1983 Eruption of Gamalama Indonesia 150 NA NA
10 1983 Eruption of Oyama Japan 100 NA NA

NA=Data not available.

Source: Munich Re, GeoRisks Research, NatCatSERVICE. As of April 2010.

 

 

TEN DEADLIEST VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS, NORTH, SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA

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 Soufriere

1,500

6 1949 Eruption of Puracé Colombia: South of Popayán

1,000

7 1943 Eruption of Paricutín Mexico: West, Michoacán

1,000

8 1968 Eruption of Mt. Arenal Costa Rica: Northwest, Pueblo Nuevo, Tabacon

300

9 1980 Explosion of Mt. St. Helens United States: WA, Mt. St. Helens

57

10 1997 Volcanic acitvity Montserrat: South, Soufrière Hills, Dyers, Bethel, Harris, Farms, Trants, Liverpool, Cork Hill

19

Source: Munich Re, Geo Risks Resesarch, NatCatSERVICE.

 

 

SIGNIFICANT VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS

Source: © Munich Re, Geo Risks Research, NatCatSERVICE. As of April 2010.

 

 

THE TEN DEADLIEST VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS, 0079-2009

Rank Year Event Affected country Fatalities
1 1815 Eruption of Tambora Indonesia more than 56,000
2 1883 Eruption of Krakatau, tsunami Indonesia 36,400
3 1902 Eruption of Pelee 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 April 2010.