The 15 most dangerous volcanoes on our planet
Volcanoes are beautiful and deadly. But some of these fiery behemoths are true heralds of destruction. And some may lie dormant closer than you think.
The last eruption of Galeras occurred on 3 January 2010. As a result, 8,000 people had to be evacuated. At regular intervals, it strikes fear into the south of the country.
Altitude: 4,276 metres
Mount Vesuvius (Italy)
Mount Vesuvius is the only volcano on the European mainland that has erupted in the last 100 years. The last eruption occurred in March 1944, in the middle of the Second World War, and destroyed the towns of Massa and San Sebastiano al Vesuvio. It was also responsible for the dramatic burial of Pompeii centuries ago. Excavations on it still provide exciting insights today.
Altitude: 1,281 metres
With 49 eruptions between 1548 and 2010, this volcano is considered the most active and dangerous in all of Indonesia. This giant spews magma every four to five years.
Altitude: 2,930 metres
Due to the numerous eruptions and tsunamis triggered by it, this volcano is single-handedly responsible for the most deaths in the Philippines. In January 2020, it became active again almost forty years after its last eruption, forcing the evacuation of several thousand people.
Height: 311 metres
Location: Luzon Island
Mauna Loa (Hawaii, USA)
At 4,170 metres high, the 'long mountain' is the highest volcano in the archipelago. Its last eruption occurred in 1984, when 220 million cubic metres of lava were ejected.
Altitude: 4,170 metres
Mount Rainier (USA)
Since it is located barely 90 kilometres from Seattle and thus endangers about 1.5 million people, it is one of the 10 most dangerous volcanoes in the country, which also attracts thousands of tourists to the national park every year. Adrenaline and morbid curiosity sells.
Altitude: 4,392 metres
Location: Cascade Range
This volcano has been active since 1955, and clouds of smoke escape the giant again and again. Countless people live in the city of Kagoshima opposite, only separated by a body of water. They would be endangered by an eruption.
Altitude: 1,117 metres
After 500 years, this volcano awoke from a deep sleep in 1991. Almost 1,000 people died during its eruption and the event also had climatic consequences. After the last eruption in 1993, it is a popular hiking destination with its beautiful landscape.
Altitude: 1,486 metres
Location: Zambales Mountains
Mount Baker (USA)
This volcano is an immediate threat, not only to the nearby community of Whatcom, but also to Vancouver, which is only 100 km away. Thankfully, there are currently no signs of magma rising inside the giant. Yet
Altitude: 3,285 metres
Location: Cascade Range
Ulawun (Papua New Guinea)
At 2,334 metres, this volcano is the highest mountain on the island. There was a major eruption in 2000 and seismic activity was measured again in 2019.
Altitude: 2,334 metres
Location: New Britain
An eruption from this monster would put several dozen million people at risk, including the inhabitants of the Mexican capital itself. Fortunately, in recent years it has only ever caused small explosions or ash clouds.
Altitude: 5,465 metres
Location: Sierra Volcánica
Vulkan Yellowstone (USA)
Yellowstone stands out from other volcanoes due to how mind-boggingly massive an eruption would be. According to experts, an explosion of Yellowstone could make two thirds of the country completely uninhabitable. Currently, however, the volcano is considered inactive.
Yellowstone National Park is the oldest in the world with an impressive ecosystem, where there are also special encounters between man and animal. Most of the national park is located in the gigantic caldera (crater) of the Yellowstone volcano.
Altitude: 2,805 metres
Location: Rocky Mountains
Kilauea (Hawaii, USA)
Kilauea is one of the youngest and most active volcanoes in the archipelago. It has been erupting repeatedly since 1983 and threatens the population living in the surrounding area.
Altitude: 1,246 metres
Mount St. Helens (USA)
Its catastrophic eruption on 18 May 1980 claimed the lives of 57 people, destroyed 250 houses, 47 bridges, 24 km of railways and 300 km of roads. It has been active since 2004, but major eruptions have been limited... for now.
Experts say that the lava domes building up mean the next eruption will be even more devastating.
Altitude: 2,549 metres
Location: Cascade Range
Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
It is the most dangerous volcano in Africa, emitting the most liquid lava in the world. The lava flows from its almost continuously filled crater endanger the surrounding densely populated regions.
Altitude: 3,470 metres
Location: Virunga Volcanoes