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Major Volcanic Eruptions

By JohnK_
  • Mt. Pelee, West Indies

    Mt. Pelee began a series of eruptions on April 25, 1902. The primary eruption completely destroyed the city of St. Pierre. The only survivors were a man held in a prison cell, and a man who lived on the outskirts of the town.
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    Volcanic Eruption History

  • Novarupta, Alaska

    Largest U.S. volcanic eruption of the 20th century, produced 21 cubic kilometers of volcanic material, which is equivalent to 230 years of eruption at Kilauea (Hawaii).
  • Mt. Kelut, Indonesia

    Most of the casualties were the result of mudslides. The death toll was estimated around 5.110.
  • Mount St. Helens, Washington

    Initial debris avalanche and lateral blast on May 18, 1980, removed the upper 396 meters of the volcano, killed 57 people, and triggered debris flows that temporarily stopped shipping on the Columbia River.
  • Kilauea, Hawaii

    Nearly 78 square kilometers covered by lava and over 180 dwellings destroyed including, in 1990, the entire historic community of Kalapana.
  • Mauna Loa, Hawaii

    Within hours, the summit activity stopped and lava began erupting from a series of vents along the northeast rift zone. When the eruption stopped 3 weeks later, lava flows were only 6.5 kilometers from buildings in the city of Hilo.
  • Nevado del Ruiz, Columbia

    A small eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano melted part of the volcano’s ice cap, creating an enormous mudslide that buried the city of Armero, killing 23,000.
  • Augustine Volcano, Alaska

    Ash plume disrupted air traffic and deposited ash in Anchorage. A dome built in the crater led to fear of dome collapse triggering a tsunami along the east shore of Cook Inlet.
  • Redoubt Volcano, Alaska

    Debris flows caused temporary closing of the Drift River Oil Terminal.
  • Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat, West Indies

    The first historical eruption on Montserrat did not take place until 1995. Long-term small-to-moderate ash eruptions were accompanied by lava dome growth and pyroclastic flows that initially forced evacuation of the southern half of the island and then destroyed the capital city of Plymouth.
  • Ulawun, Papua New Guinea

    Ulawun is considered one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes due to its structural instability and close location to population centers.
  • Grimsvotn, Iceland

    Barely a year after a similar eruption in Iceland forced the biggest closure of European airspace since World War II. Caused thousands of traveling delays.