Let us have a look at the top 10 most devastating volcanic eruptions based on recorded death toll.
1. Mt. Tambora, Indonesia, 1816 – Death Toll: 92000
This cataclysmic event that happened on April 10-15, 1816 killed about 92,000 individuals which included 10,000 whose caused of death is due to the ash fall and explosion, and about 82,000 from other causes attributable to the volcanic eruption.
2. Mt. Pelee, West Indies, 1902 – Death Toll: 40000
Previously believed to be a dormant volcano, Mt. Pelee started its devastating activity in the early 1902 and leveled the entire city of St. Pierre.
3. Mt. Krakatoa, Indonesia, 1883 – Death Toll: 36000
The devastation wrought by the volcanic explosion left 75% of the island in total ruin. The sound blast was the loudest that was ever recorded and was even heard as far as Australia.
4. Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia, 1985 – Death Toll: 23000
The death from these volcanic eruption was mainly due to the massive mudslides brought about by the melting of the ice cap of Nevado del Rio burying the City of Armero.
5. Mt. Unzen, Japan, 1792 – Death Toll: 15000
This volcanic eruption occurred along the very active Pacific Rim of Fire. This cataclysmic event led to avalanches and tsunami.
6. Mt. Vesuvius, Italy, AD 79 – Death Toll: 10000 plus
It is one of oldest recorded volcanic eruptions which leveled the Roman towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii. It lasted for 19 hours and dumped and left Pompeii buried in 10 feet of ash.
7. Laki Volcanic System, Iceland, 1784 – Death Toll: 9350
It persisted with almost a year of explosion leaving a dusty haze which led to serious food shortages. Death toll was mainly attributed to widespread starvation.
8. Mt. Vesuvius, Italy, 1631 – Death Toll: 6000
This active volcano has had almost a dozen explosions following the major eruption in AD 79. The 1631 eruption swamped the surrounding towns with hot lava which was accompanied by the ejection of boiling water.
9. Mt. Kelut, Indonesia, 1919 – Death Toll: 5110
This major volcanic activity of Mt. Kelut resulted to the death of many people due to the mudslides that happened during the eruption.
10. Mt. Galunggung, Indonesia, 1882 – Death: 4011
This devastating volcanic eruption left a path of widespread destruction and death to an estimated 4011 individuals.