Troubling Global Volcanic Activity on the Rise

Alan Caruba
Canada Free Press

The news is all about the Tuesday’s U.S. elections, but some of us are concerned about the news on Monday regarding a possible eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland. Never heard of it? You will.

Grimsvotn is the most active volcano in Iceland. The one that made a lot of news earlier in 2010 was Eyjafjallajokull that, while relatively small, generated such a huge cloud of ash that it disrupted air travel across western and northern Europe for six days in April.

Here’s why volcano watchers around the world are on high alert.

This past week, in Indonesia, after a tsunami killed several hundred people, Mount Merapi rumbled to life forcing thousands to flee back to evacuation centers as 38 lava avalanches occurred with pyroclastic flows down the south and west slopes running outward for seven kilometers. They incinerate everything in their path.

In August, a volcano on Sumatra erupted for the first time in 400 years.

There is a “Ring of Fire” that stretches approximately 25,000 miles in a horseshoe from eastern Asia to the western shores of North and South America. It has 452 volcanoes of which 75% are the world’s most active or dormant.

On August 25, Italy’s Etna volcano and Columbia’s Galeros volcano both erupted.

In the U.S. the last major volcanic eruption was Mount St. Helens in 1980, but it is just one volcano in Washington State that includes Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier, all part of a Cascade Range that reaches down into California. Mount Rainer is a massive stratovolcano located just 54 miles southeast of Seattle.

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