Volcanoes in Vanuatu

With 5 volcanoes in Vanuatu there have been a total of 14 significant eruptions over the past 2,000 years. Over one hundred people were killed. The worst volcanic eruption in terms of deaths, destroyed houses and financial damages happened on 01/01/1870 with the eruption of "Aoba".

Out of 8 volcanos in Vanuatu, 5 are considered still active. Additionally there is one active submarine volcano off the coast.

Other natural hazards in Vanuatu:
Current volcanoes worldwide

Back to overview: Vanuatu

Vanuatu 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 Vanuatu in the last 2000 years

The following list shows all volcanic eruptions of the last 2,000 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 Vanuatu reached in the review period was VEI 6 in 1452. The volcano Kuwae threw tephramasses of at least 10 cubic kilometers over 25 kilometers high. Such an intensity is normally only achieved every 100 years.

EruptionVolcanoVEIDeathsTotal damage

All volcanoes in Vanuatu

VolcanoElevationStatusLast eruption
Ambae1496 mActive03/30/2018
Ambrym1334 mActive12/15/2018
Aoba1350 mSolfatara stage01/01/1914
Gaua700 mActive
Lopevi1447 mActive
Suretamatai920 mSolfatara stage
Tongoa20 mSolfatara stage
Yasur Volcano350 mActive

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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