There’s potential, if not immediate, danger.
Travelers love the thrill of seeing a volcano up close and personal. From lava hunting and climbing to sledding and abseiling down an active volcano, adventure seekers have found ways to add a twist to their sightseeing tours. The imposing volcanoes are a dramatic sight, even more so when they’re spewing smoke and ash. But the dangers of living close to an active volcano are real. Just this month, the eruption of the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in the Pacific has caused devastation in the remote archipelago of Tonga. This was the biggest volcanic activity recorded in 30 years on the planet. It triggered a tsunami that hit the archipelago and the main island of Tongatapu was severely damaged while the neighborhoods were also covered in ash. The waves were also felt on the west coast of the United States, as well as Peru, Japan, and New Zealand. There are many other cities in the world that are in the path of volcanic eruptions. There are also small communities and villages at the foothills of these volcanoes that face imminent danger from smoke, ash, pyroclastic flows (a hot mix of gas, rock, and ash that travels quickly) and lahars (mudflow), earthquake, and/or tsunami. DID YOU KNOW?The Pacific Ring of Fire is an arc that stretches over 25,000 miles from South America to New Zealand. It has 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes and 90% of earthquakes happen here. The U.S., Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Peru, Indonesia, Chile, and Papua New Guinea are all part of this belt.