Volcano Pacaya in Guatemala

Volcanoes in Guatemala

With 3 volcanoes in Guatemala there have been a total of 21 significant eruptions over the past 500 years. Over 2,900 people were killed. The worst volcanic eruption in terms of deaths, destroyed houses and financial damages happened on 06/03/2018 with the eruption of "Fuego". Here, 201 people died.

Out of 11 volcanos in Guatemala, 8 are considered still active.

Other natural hazards in Guatemala:
Current volcanoes worldwide

Back to overview: Guatemala

Guatemala 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 Guatemala in the last 500 years

Volcano Pacaya in GuatemalaThe following list shows all volcanic eruptions of the last 500 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 Guatemala reached in the review period was VEI 6 in 1902. The volcano Santa Maria threw tephramasses of at least 10 cubic kilometers over 25 kilometers high. Such an intensity is normally only achieved every 100 years.

EruptionVolcanoVEIDeathsTotal damage
07/19/1990Santa Maria34
09/02/1978Santa Maria31
11/02/1929Santa Maria3200
10/25/1902Santa Maria62500

All volcanoes in Guatemala

VolcanoElevationStatusLast eruption
Acatenango3976 mActive
Agua3766 mActive
Atitlan3537 mActive
Cerro Quemado3027 mActive
Fuego3736 mActive06/03/2018
Pacaya2552 mActive03/01/2021
Santa Maria3772 mActive07/19/1990
Tajumulco4220 mActive
Tequamburro1840 mSolfatara stage
Toliman3158 mSolfatara stage
Zunil3533 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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