Teide is among the four most dangerous volcanoes in Europe: what is the risk of it erupting?

La (La Palma) has awakened the worst fears of society with nature. A constant outflow of magma to the outside that destroys everything in its path, leaving behind millions of material losses. Without lamenting the deceased, so the good evacuation plans are explained, it also influences that this was not one of the most dangerous geological structures in the world. A list in which Europe sneaks up to four ‘fire monsters’, locating one in the possible awakening of Teide.

No matter how dormant a volcano may seem, while it is active, everything indicates that at any time and due to natural circumstances it can erupt, unleashing terrible consequences in its wake. This is the lesson that the La Palma event is leaving, while Cumbre Vieja is waiting for it to stop and the rehabilitation tasks can begin.

And it is that, according to experts, up to 10,000 years after its last eruption, above all volcanoes, one must always be alert and keep it under surveillance. This is what has happened with the Canarian structure and, although it is not possible to predict exactly when a volcano is going to wake up, it is possible to analyze the signals that it gives, as is the case of the multitude of earthquakes that were being detected in the last days under the soil of La Palma.

Thus, due to the activity that arises daily in the subsoil, due to the amount of population and buildings that surround it and due to its size and possible speed of magma expulsion, a volcano can be considered dangerous or not. This is what the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI), in charge of the United Nations, determined in the 1990s for 16 mountains around the world, 25% in Europe. , which he called Volcanoes of the Decade.

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Vesuvius (Italy)

Leading the ranking of the most dangerous is always Vesuvius. The memory of what his awakening, in the year 79, meant for humanity is marked as the first great natural catastrophe in history. In its wake, the city of Pompeii was buried, as well as part of Herculaneum, and today more than 3 million people live around it, with Naples as the most important city (Vesuvius is the most populated volcanic area in the world).

Having also been the only volcano in continental Europe to have erupted in the 20th century, the last one was in 1944, it has also given serious signs of threat at many other times (it has awakened more than 20 times in the last 500 years). All this suggests that at any moment it could do so again, which is why it is constantly vigilant and there is a very detailed emergency plan to evacuate some 600,000 people.

Mount Etna (Italy)

The highest active volcano in the entire Eurasian plate, at 3,357 meters high, rests the city of Catania, in the eastern part of the island of Sicily. So high is its danger that in the 21st century it has erupted up to six times, the last being in September 2021.

Of course, without serious risks, nor have their last six major activities taken them, their greatest expulsion of magma occurred in 1669, causing the destruction of the town of Nicolisi. In addition, with regard to recent years, between 2002 and 2003 its ash column could be seen up to 600 kilometers away.

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Mount Teide (Spain)

If Etna was astonishing due to its altitude, Teide is even bigger. At 3,715 meters it has the highest peak of any landmass in the Atlantic and is the third largest volcano on Earth from its ocean floor (behind only two in Hawaii).

On its slope rests the island of Tenerife, with almost 1 million inhabitants, which has remained without eruptions since 1798. It is precisely because of this long period of inactivity that there is a real threat, since at any moment it could wake up from its lethargy given the activity of its crater. Of course, it is constantly monitored to activate the emergency plan when necessary.

Caldera Santorini (Greece)

Unlike the previous mountains, this volcanic caldera is mostly submerged on which the islands of Santorini rise, with more than 15,000 inhabitants. This is where its danger lies, because unlike the volcanoes in Italy or Spain, the entire island could erupt.

With its last great activity in 1950, in recent years only small fumaroles have been perceived, confirming that it could wake up at any moment. Finally, it should be noted that the eruption dated from the 18th century BC is the cause of the legend of Atlantis, through which a powerful civilization rests under the waters.

Eyjafjallajokull (Iceland)*

Although it was not listed as one of the Decade Volcanoes, Eyjafjallajokull erupted in 2010 diverting air traffic from much of Europe for many days (more than 20,000 flights were cancelled). Of glacial origin, this activity thawed the center of the volcano causing the flooding of nearby rivers.

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In the south of Iceland, in the small region of Skogar, unlike the others, their activity does not present a serious risk to a large population group. However, the ability to generate a large column of smoke due to its altitude, about 1,666 meters, was what caused such an event eleven years ago. Currently, he is considered asleep again, although he still has small symptoms inside him.

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