Volcano Izalco in El Salvador

Volcanoes in El Salvador

With 4 volcanoes in El Salvador there have been a total of 5 significant eruptions over the past 1,600 years. Over 30,300 people were killed. The worst volcanic eruption in terms of deaths, destroyed houses and financial damages happened on 01/01/0450 with the eruption of "Ilopango". Here, 30000 people died.

Out of 12 volcanos in El Salvador, 7 are considered still active.

Other natural hazards in El Salvador:
Current volcanoes worldwide

Back to overview: El Salvador

El Salvador is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which stretches for about 40,000 km around the Pacific Ocean. Here the tectonic plate of the Pacific collides with several surrounding continental plates and seismic tremors occur again and again. Most of the world's volcanic eruptions, which are also the most severe, occur in this zone.

Significant volcanic eruptions in El Salvador in the last 1600 years

Volcano Izalco in El SalvadorThe following list shows all volcanic eruptions of the last 1,600 years with significant damage. The column "VEI" stands for the volcano explosivity index, which represents the strength of the eruption from a geological point of view. This takes into account the height and volume of the rocks ejected. The scale ranges from 0-8, with the severity of the eruption increasing tenfold with each value. For example, a VEI of 1 means that the volcano throws lava and rock masses of 100,000 to 1 million cubic meters up to 1 kilometer high. From VEI 8, a volcano is considered a super volcano. Here, more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of tephra are thrown to altitudes of more than 25 kilometers.

The highest explosivity index in El Salvador reached in the review period was VEI 6 in 0450. The volcano Ilopango threw tephramasses of at least 10 cubic kilometers over 25 kilometers high. Such an intensity is normally only achieved every 100 years.

EruptionVolcanoVEIDeathsTotal damage
10/01/2005Santa Ana32
06/07/1917San Salvador3325
09/30/1659San Salvador30

All volcanoes in El Salvador

VolcanoElevationStatusLast eruption
Ahuachapan1436 mSolfatara stage
Aylas Quemadas450 mActive
Cerro el Playon660 mPotentially active
Chinameca1228 mSolfatara stage
Conchagua1250 mSolfatara stage
Conchaguita550 mActive
Izalco1965 mActive10/29/1920
San Miguel2130 mActive
San Salvador1850 mActive06/07/1917
San Vicente2000 mSolfatara stage
Santa Ana2382 mActive10/01/2005
Tecapa600 mSolfatara stage

These statistics are based on datas from the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program (GVP), and the Significant Volcanic Eruptions Database of the National Geophysical Data Center (NOAA) / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS) doi:10.7289/V5JW8BSH. Several data have been summarized and translated.
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