ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Living on the Edge-Where the Volcano Sleeps...or Erupts? the Vesuvius Eruption, the Krakatoa Eruption and More Hot Stuff

Updated on September 19, 2017
Anak Krakatau erupting at night
Anak Krakatau erupting at night | Source

History of the deadly volcano

Volcanic eruption have been a fact of life since the earth first formed as a solid planet, and they have taken a huge toll of human life over the centuries. One of the earliest recorded disasters was the Vesuvius eruption in AD 79 which buried the Italian city Pompeii under ash, killing an estimated 16,000 people. You can still see the power of ash, the shocking 'sculptures' if you visit the Archaeological Museum of Naples, where these beautiful but sad artifacts are kept. The most violent eruption of modern times was in Krakatoa, Indonesia, in 1883, when more than 36,000 people were killed and derbis was scattered across the Indian Ocean as far away as Madagascar, off the east of Africa.

Excavation around plaster casts at Pompeii
Excavation around plaster casts at Pompeii | Source
Mount Etna, Sicily
Mount Etna, Sicily | Source

The arsenal of Mother Nature

There are about 500 active volcanoes in the world today, thought it is always unsafe to assume that any volcano is on the retired list. The types of eruption vary greatly. The simplest kind, found in Hawaii and Iceland, is a more or less continuous fountain of fire, sometimes reaching incredible heights. Next in order of complexity are eruption that follow the Stromboli pattern, where the lava is less fluid and the rate of eruption is not so high- from one every few seconds to one every couple of hours.

But even well-behaved volcanoes can turn nasty if water gets into them. It boils to produce steam and this increases explosive power. When a section of rain sodden ground fall into Mount Etna, in 1979 blocking the flaw of lava, pressure built up so much that when it was released the huge explosion killed nine tourists who were peering inside.

Even more dangerous is the nuee ardente (a burning cloud), which occurs in volcanoes where the lava is viscous and rich in gas. Pressure builds up gradually and imperceptibly, though towards the end a distinct swelling of the mountain may be detected, as if it is getting ready to give birth. When the eruption finally happens, the gas is released like the fizz in a well-shaken bottle of champagne throwing out a mass of dust, ash and solid chunk of lava at speed of up to 100km/h and at temperatures 100 and 900 degree C. the hot gases destroy the delicate tissues of the lungs, which can no longer absorb oxygen from the air. Death is by suffocation.

Lava flow
Lava flow | Source

Researchers about volcanic eruptions

Studies by vulcanologists show that there is no real evidence of an accelerating pace in the number and frequency of eruptions, but that increasing world population mean that when a volcano does erupt, it may well affect more people. In fact, this is already happening. The eruption of Pinatubo, in the Philippines, in 1991 has affected the entire world population. More than a year after the eruption, a belt of ash and chemical still circles the Equator at an altitude of about 30 kilometres, disrupting the ozone layer of the planet’s climate.

We have yet to see the full capacity for devastation of a volcanic eruption in the modern world. If a major eruption were to occur in Japan, New Zealand or California, as is possible in the near future, we might be counting the dead in millions rather than tens of thousands, and looking at the destruction of a nation’s economy and serious destabilisation of the world power rather than the loss of a few billion dollar.

Hunyo 15, 1991 (The Climactic eruption)
Hunyo 15, 1991 (The Climactic eruption) | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      that is cool

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I did not realize there are so many active volcanoes!

    • yoebaree profile imageAUTHOR

      Hunor Barabás 

      6 years ago from Romania

      Oh, thanks! I mix the language sometimes with my mother tongue (in hungarian it's vulkánok).

    • CEPubdude profile image

      Michael Rickaby 

      6 years ago from Centennial, Colorado

      You spelled "vulcanoes" wrong. Cool Pictures.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)