Friday, February 09, 2007
Interested to visit volcanoes? Check out the top 10 list!
Mount Vesuvius in Italy.
History has it that Mount Vesuvius has erupted 36 times with the first one being the most destructive. It was in 79 A.D. when Vesuvius erupted burying in ash 3,360 wealthy Romans living in the nearby town of Pompeii. The disaster was said to be memorable as it ash fall preserved perfectly the town including its victims and their pets. For visitors hungry to discover the volcano’s history, the site is a must-see.
Mount Fuji in Japan. Mount Fuji, standing at more than 12,000 feet, is the highest mountain in Japan and one of the most famous in the world. Although covered with clouds through most part of the year, Mount Fuji can be seen on a clear day from Tokyo which is 60 miles away. Tokyo was actually buried in ash when Mount Fuji erupted in 1707. The volcano is open for visitors anytime of the year but its facilities are open only during July and August.
Kilauea in The Big Island of Hawaii. This volcano, considered a national park, is the most visited among all other volcanoes in the world. It also claims to have the longest uninterrupted eruption in world history because of its unceasing explosions since 1983. So if you want real experience with lava flow going down the slopes anytime of the year, then Kilauea is the place to go. From there, you can go to Mauna Loa nearby which is the world’s biggest volcano standing at more than 19,000 cubic miles.
Pacaya in Guatemala City. Pacaya remains to be in an active state since 1965. But despite this, climbers continue to visit the place which is at over 8,000 feet. Pacaya is Guatemala’s most frequently climbed mountain. Tourists used to flock to this volcano but since bandit problems broke out, guided tours for beginners are no longer permitted.
Mt. Bromo in East Java, Indonesia. Mt. Bromo, located in the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, is famous for its beautiful peak. This active volcano last erupted in December 2000. Visitors can only go there through a horseback ride as the volcano’s location is not very accessible for travelers.
During fall notably every November, an extraordinary Kasodo ceremony takes place. During the rite, a religious leader throws offerings into the mouth of the volcano afterwhich the locals attending the ceremony either jump into or run down the crater to try to catch the things that were thrown. They believe that getting the offerings will give them prosperity.
Soufriere Hills in Monseratt, West Indies. This volcano first erupted in July 1995 burying in ash Monserrat’s capital of Plymouth as well as the island’s whole southern part. Most of the residents then moved to a safer zone in the northern part which, unfortunately, was also put into risk by the volcano’s second series of eruptions beginning in March 2000. This caused Monserrat’s population to lessen from the original 11,000 to only 4,000 today. Monserrat was once called by the British as “the Emerald Isle of the Carribbean.”
Popocatepetl in Mexico. This volcano is the second highest in Mexico standing at more than 17,000 feet. Called “smoking mountain” by the Aztecs and “popo” by the locals, Popocatepetl is one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico. It has erupted 36 times since the Spaniards arrived in the country in 1519 A.D. and in 1995. Although not as popular as the other regions in Mexico, Popocatepetl has its own share of visitors.
Mount Sakurajima in Kagoshima, Japan. Sakurajima stands at 3,663 feet and is one of the world’s most active volcanoes today. It has erupted between 100 and 200 times each year since 1955. It has its own island which can be reached by a ferry boat from downtown Kagoshima.
Shishaldin Volcano in Unimak Island, Alaska. Standing at more than 9,00 feet, this volcano is the highest peak in the Aleutian islands. Its first eruption was recorded in 1775 and has since erupted at least 27 times. Shisaldin last erupted in 1995 and is considered an active volcano.
Mount Pelee in St. Pierre, Martinique. Mount Pelee first erupted in 1902 claiming the lives of more than 29,000 residents and destroying ships docked in the harbor. St. Pierre, where Pelee is located, used to be the capital of Martinique. The town was restored by the elder residents after the eruption of Pelee.