How Many Deaths Have Been Caused by Volcanic Eruptions?

It is estimated that approximately over 260,000 deaths have been caused by volcanic eruptions since the 1700s. An excessive accumulation of molten rock and debris from the Earth’s crust causes volcanoes to erupt and release molten lava that reaches temperatures of around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,250 degrees Celsius). Volcanic eruptions can also cause dangerous floods, mudslides, and tsunamis in addition to the flows of hot lava. One of the most fatal volcanic eruptions occurred in 1883 on the Indonesia island of Krakatoa and killed approximately 36,000 people, followed by the 1902 eruption of French Caribbean Island Mount Pelee, which killed around 30,000 people.

More about volcanoes :

  • One of the first recorded eruptions was Mount Vesuvius, which erupted in Italy in AD 79 and is thought to have killed around 16,000 people when it destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
  • The tallest volcano in the solar system is Olympus Mons, which is located on the planet Mars and has an elevation of over 88,000 feet (27,000 m).
  • Approximately 1,900 volcanoes are considered by geologists to be active with the potential for eruption.

Discussion Comments


After reading these tidbits, it leads me to wonder what the most recent volcanic eruption is, as I certainly haven't heard anything for years. On another note, what I found to be really intriguing in this article is the description of the volcano on Mars. While I didn't know there were volcanoes on other planets, it makes perfect sense.

Not to get off topic, but it does make me question how they were able to take pictures of it in the first place. After all, volcanoes do have intense heat, so it might be difficult to send a probe and get close enough. Regardless, this is really fascinating, and I wouldn't be surprised if other planets had volcanoes as well. This specifically applies to Mercury and Venus, the hottest planets that are very close to the sun.


Does anyone know how many deaths are caused by volcanoes in this day and age? These are some very interesting, and even somewhat scary statistics. From doing research on volcanoes, one thing that I've always found unnerving is the fact that it normally doesn't matter how far away you are from the volcano.

Unless you're living in another state or country, the chances are you will get burned. More than likely, this is due to how powerful the eruptions are, and how they don't just erupt, but cause all kinds of natural disasters, such as tsunamis.

For example, many years ago, I was reading a Ripley's Believe or Not Book that went into detail about this. To make a long story short, it involved a man who was burned during a volcanic eruption, even when he was ten miles away.

For those who haven't had experiences with volcanoes, this may seem a bit farfetched, but it just goes to show how powerful these things are.

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