One of the world’s foremost volcanologists has warned that there are around 100 “explosive” volcanoes around the world that could cause devastation at a moment’s notice. The further caveat is that no one can be sure which will blow first. Professor Stephen Sparks, from the University of Bristol, was discussing which volcano is currently the world’s deadliest – but couldn’t settle on a single one.
“If we’re talking about very large eruptions that could have a big global impact, they don’t have to be super eruptions to have big effects on their surroundings and things like climate, the atmosphere. It’s likely to be a volcano that hasn’t had an eruption for a long time and those volcanoes are very quiet. “Nothing much will be happening so they’re quite hard to spot.
“Some colleagues of mine looked around all the world’s volcanoes – they identified those volcanoes that had the possibility or the right characteristics for having a big explosive eruption.
“And they identified about a hundred of them.
“There are some in Africa, Turkey, Japan, Indonesia, South America, Central America…
“There’s quite a lot of them – but we don’t really yet have the science to suggest which of the hundred is more likely than any other.”
The news comes as one such volcano, Anak Krakatau, has unleashed devastation in Indonesia, which lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire.
On 22nd December a vast eruption caused a tsunami that hit Sumatra and Java where more than 420 people died and 40,000 were displaced.
The mountain is said to have lost three-quarters of its size in the immense eruption – the crater peak was brought down from 338 metres to 110 metres.