Volcanic eruptions are common every year. Volcanoes are only one of the proofs that the Earth is alive and “breathing.” Not all volcanoes are the same. Some volcanoes erupt often. Some are inactive for about hundred years and for some time they go active again. But there are volcanos also that have never stopped erupting.
Quick Fact: The “rhyolite calderas” (a type of volcano) can cause the biggest eruptions.
According to research, there are about 50-60 volcanoes that have major eruptions per year. 2018 is not an exemption to these volcanic activities. In fact, there were notable volcanoes that erupted this year. So can we list them? Here are the volcanic eruptions in 2018:
1. Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano is an active stratovolcano in the Philippine Islands that’s found in the Province of Albay, Bicol Region. It had its latest major eruption last January 13 – March 29. Last January 14, due to increase in activity, PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) raised Mayon’s status to alert level 2 due to its two phreatic eruptions. And on the same day at 8 PM, it was raised to alert level 3 due to the rising lava flows. And last January 22, from alert level 3, Mayon Volcano’s activity was raised to alert level 4, which is already a signal for an imminent dangerous eruption. On the same day, aviation authorities temporarily closed the Legazpi Airport.
Here’s a video that will show you how Mayon erupted this year:
To clear your confusion, alert levels are used to check the level of eruption hazards an eruptic volcano poses. They range from alert level 0 – 5. Not all volcanoes follow the sequential order from alert level 1-2-3-4-5. It is always possible for volcanoes to be immediately classified for alert level 2 status. Some may have the tendency to jump directly to alert level 5 due to their rapid and unpredictable activity.
2. Fuego Volcano ( Volcán de Fuego)
Fuego Volcano (in which literally means as “Volcano of Fire”) is an active stratovolcano found in Guatemala. It had a major eruption last June 3, but its active periods had already started since the year 2002. There were 109 people confirmed to be dead (only 28 corpses were identified), 200 were missing, and hundreds were injured at the period of its eruption. Its biggest impact was felt in El Rodeo; the town was completely covered in volcanic ash.
Last June 3 before noontime, the volcano had blasted nearby villages with ash and molten rocks. On Wednesday, June 6, Fuego Volcano had erupted again, releasing tons of molten mud and volcanic ash. Due to the hazardous conditions in affected areas, search and rescue operations were stalled.
For the record, Fuego Volcano had erupted 60 times already; and when it does, it releases “pyroclastic flows.”
Pyroclastic flows are not the same with lava flows. Pyroclastic flows are often categorized as a fast-moving hot mess of exploded magma while lava flows are oozing molten rocks.
The video below will show you how Fuego Volcano had affected the residents near it:
3. Kilauea Volcano
Kilauea Volcano is a type of shield volcano that’s found in the Hawaiian Islands. Its active volcanic state started since January 3, 1983. It also had its major eruption way back in 2014 and its rampage lasted for several months. Of all the five major volcanoes in Hawaii, Kilauea is considered to be the most active one. Its violent eruptions had started last May and until now it shows no signs of subsiding.
Due to its eruptions, it had affected the airline operations of Hawaii as well as destroying hundreds of homes and properties. Aside from that, it also affected the major road systems of Hawaii, power and telephone systems, and also their geothermal power plant. Hawaii’s Department of Education had also announced that there were several schools that were forced to close due to the eruption of the volcano.
According to USGS (United States Geological Survey), Kilauea’s lava flows had already covered 5.5 square miles. With regards to the recent reports, Kilauea has been expelling olivine crystals (green gems). Olivine is a common mineral found in the lavas of Hawaii, it is also one of the most common minerals found beneath the Earth’s surface.
Here’s a video to give you a glimpse of Hawaii’s Kilauea’s volcanic activities:
4. Popocatépetl Volcano
The Popocatépetl Volcano is a stratovolcano that’s located in Mexico-Puebla-Morelos, Mexico. It is connected to Iztaccihuatl volcano by a high saddle known as the “Paso de Cortés.” Since the 16th century, it had 15 major eruptions. For the 21st century, its eruptions had started in the year 2004 and until this present time. Popocatépetl’s latest eruption was caused by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook the southern part of Mexico, Oaxaca last February. No deaths were reported with regards to this incident, but it left millions of homes, establishments, and businesses with no power.
With the list of aforementioned volcanoes, what are your thoughts on them? Despite being destructive, how important volcanic eruptions are in the environment? Feel free to drop some comment!