Volcanologist has predicted which “restless” volcanoes along the Ring of Fire could erupt in 2020
Volcanologist has predicted which “restless” volcanoes along the Ring of Fire could erupt in 2020

The horseshoe-shaped Ring of Fire is filled with the world’s highest number of volcanoes, along with 90 percent of the Earth’s earthquakes. The ring is 25,000 miles-long and located in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. Bill McGuire, Professor of Geophysical & Climate Hazards at UCL, warned the Ring of Fire is so unpredictable, there is no way to predict when tit will strike.

Instead, he listed volcanos that are currently restless or may be in the early stages of bigger eruptions.

These include Kadovar in Papua New Guinea, Ibu, Dukono and Sinabung in Indonesia, Telica in Nicaragua, Copahue on the Chile and Argentina border, Sabancaya in Peru and Yasur in Vanuatu.

Dr McGuire told Express.co.uk: “Trying to decide which ‘Ring of Fire’ volcano will erupt next is a bit like trying to pick the winning numbers in the lottery.

“However, no volcano erupts without warning signs that we can detect if we are looking.

The volcano eruption on White Island has claimed the lives of at least 19 people
The volcano eruption on White Island has claimed the lives of at least 19 people (Image: GETTY)

“For magma to reach the surface, it must break rock, which causes small earthquakes that can be detected using seismometers.

“It also needs to make space for itself, which causes the ground surface to swell. This can be detected using GPS and other methods.

“Volcanoes that show these early signs are said to be restless.

“This restlessness may end in an eruption, but sometimes a volcano will return to its slumbers without erupting.”

Tourists watched in horror as the volcano erupted on December 9
Tourists watched in horror as the volcano erupted on December 9

Mr McGuire added it is also not easy to predict when volcanoes will erupt, as seismic observations will only give rough forecasts days or weeks in advance.

He said: “For most volcanoes, it is not possible to say if they will erupt this year, although it would be a reasonably safe bet to say that volcanoes that erupt almost all the time – such as Mount Etna or Hawaii’s Kilauea – will likely do something.

“One worth watching is Vesuvius – which has not erupted for more than sixty years and has been the source of recent small earthquakes.

“Others that have been ‘restless’ recently include the Cumbre Vieja on the Canary Island of La Palma, Planchon-Peteroa in Chile, and Sanbacaya in Peru.

“After it’s partial collapse just before Christmas, Anak Krakatau may start to build itself up again.”

New Zealand was rocked by a deadly volcanic eruption on White Island on December 9.

The death toll has now risen to 19 after police said that another person died at an Auckland hospital on Sunday night.

The volcano blew while 47 people visiting the tourist destination of Whakaari.

The Ring of Fire has 90 percent of the Earth’s earthquakes
The Ring of Fire has 90 percent of the Earth’s earthquakes

This killed 13 people install and left two dozen others in hospital with severe burns.

Two people have still not been recovered and authorities believe they were washed out to sea in a storm shortly after the eruption.

Dr Sarah Brown, senior research associate in volcanology at the University of Bristol, added dormant volcanoes are the “most dangerous” as there is no warning for people living nearby.

She told Express.co.uk: “We can’t say which Ring of Fire volcano will erupt next.

The Ring of Fire is 25,000 miles-long
The Ring of Fire is 25,000 miles-long

“But it’s called the Ring of Fire for a reason – there are always volcanoes in eruption here.

“Many have regular activity, that the local populations have learned to live with.

“Others have been dormant for a long time, and these may be the most dangerous as people living near them may be least prepared to deal with an eruption.

“Of course, efforts are made to monitor as many volcanoes as possible to allow forecasts of activity and respond to developing volcanic emergencies.”

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