The worst volcanic eruptions ever, inspired by Pompeii DVD releaseBy Sj.Cliff
Volcanoes are among the most devastating and dangerous natural forces in our past, but it is not just throughout history that they wreaked havoc on, just this week Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano erupted under the Northern Lights.
Their volatility and unreliability have changed our world’s landscape over time and also lives of the people living in their shadows, so to coincide with this event we have listed the 5 most dangerous volcanic eruption of all time.
Mount Tambora, Indonesia – 1815
The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora was one of the most powerful in recorded history and classified as a VEI-7 event. Mount Tambora is on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia. The eruption that began on 10 April 1815 was followed by between six months and three years of increased steaming and small phreatic eruptions. The eruption column lowered global temperatures and some experts believe this led to global cooling and worldwide harvest failures, sometimes known as the Year Without a Summer.
Krakatoa (Krakatau), Indonesia, 1883
The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia began on August 26, 1883 (with origins as early as May of that year) and culminated with several destructive eruptions of the remaining caldera. On August 27, two thirds of Krakatoa collapsed in a chain of titanic explosions, destroying most of the island and its surrounding archipelago. Additional alleged seismic activity continued to be reported until February 1884, though reports of those after October 1883 were later dismissed by Rogier Verbeek’s investigation. It was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history, with at least 36,417 deaths being attributed to the eruption itself and the tsunami in created. Significant additional effects were also felt around the world.
Nevado del Ruiz, Columbia (1985)
Despite being considered a medium sized eruption the volcanic event still had devastating consequences for the surrounding regions. The eruption commenced in the night and caused both cold and hot mudflows, which buried the town of Armero. After the eruption there were intense debates about responsibility as there were signs of an upcoming eruption including earthquakes. The Columbian government consequently created a program to prevent incidents of this nature in the future.
Bardarbunga Volcano, Iceland 2014
In southeast Iceland, the Bardarbunga volcano system, located under Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajoekull, has been rocked by hundreds of tremors daily since mid-August, prompting fears the volcano could erupt explosively, wreaking havoc on air traffic once again. An eruption of Bardarbunga, the largest volcanic system in Iceland, has the potential to be even more disruptive than the 2010 eruption of nearby Eyjafjallajokull. Scientists are closely monitoring the site, as lava continues to spew from fissures, earthquakes rumble underfoot, and nearby glacial ice appears to be melting, possibly signaling explosive interaction between lava and meltwater.
Pompeii / Mount Vesuvius Eruption (79 A.D.)
The city of Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the commune of Pompeii. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 – 6 metres (13 – 20 ft) of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
Researchers believe that the town was founded in the seventh or sixth century BC by the Osci or Oscans and was captured by the Romans in 80 BC. By the time of its destruction, 160 years later, its population was approximately 11,000 persons, and the city had a complex water system, and amphitheatre, gymnasium and a sport.
There is a fascinating bonus featurette on the Pompeii DVD & Blu-ray which covers how director Paul W.S. Anderson captured and recreated the mammoth disaster onscreen. The clip titled ‘The Volcanic Eruption’ shows details of the falling ash, the fire, the bay of Naples bursting with water flushing over the city and the stunning visual effects that was used to recreate the top of Mount Vesuvius before it collapsed to form the volcano it is today.