Active volcano: New Zealand is not the only country
At least five people lost their lives and eight are still missing when an active volcano in New Zealand erupted suddenly. These people, 34 of whom have survived but still being treated for burns, were on a visit to White Island for sightseeing.
The New Zealand government has already started a probe into the accident as to why tourists were allowed near the volcano.
‘Whakaari’, as it is known in the Maori language, is New Zealand’s most-active cone volcano, built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years, according to New Zealand’s GeoNet. About 70% of the island is under the sea, making the volcanic structure the largest in New Zealand.
Geologists raised the alert level for the volcano in November because of an increase in volcanic activity. The volcano’s last fatal eruption was in 1914, when it killed 12 sulphur miners. There was a short-lived eruption in April 2016.
But White Island is not the only active volcano in the world… There are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide, aside from the continuous belts of volcanoes on the ocean floor at spreading centers like the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. About 500 of those 1,500 volcanoes have erupted in historical time. Some of them are…
- Mauna Loa in Hawaii is the largest volcano on Earth. Mauna Loa has been erupting now for 700,000 years continuously – most recently in 1984. Due to its network of lava flowing around it, it poses a great risk to surrounding areas.
- Erta Ale in Ethiopia is one of the rarest volcanoes in the world as it has not one, but two lava lakes. Erta Ale has a reputation as one of the harshest environments in the entire world. The last major eruption was in 2008, but the lava lakes are in constant flow year-round.
- Don’t get confused with its yummy name. Mt Stromboli in Italy has been erupting almost continuously for 2,000 years!
- Mount Merapi (which means “mountain of fire”)is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes. It has been erupting for centuries. The biggest risk with this volcano is the pyroclastic flow, which killed 64 during a 1994 eruption. There were also a series of eruptions in late 2010 with pyroclastic flows that claimed more lives and had tens of thousands evacuated.
- Sakurajima used to be its own island volcano before it’s lava flows grew large enough to connect the mass to the Osumi Peninsula in Japan. For every year since 1955, this volcano has erupted.