Why Do People Live Near Volcanoes? Explosive Facts That Kids Will Love

Christian Mba
Oct 12, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Oct 29, 2021
A small volcanic eruption in Mt Fagradalsfjall

Volcanoes can be scary and very dangerous; despite this, there are many people who live very close to these lava-bubbling mountains.

It can be very hard to believe that people live near active volcanoes. However, there are multiple communities of people across the world who either visit volcanoes through tourism or choose to live near them.

New Zealand, Hawaii, and Iceland attract a lot of tourists during holidays and vacations. Many visit to see active volcanoes and experience the hot springs associated with them.

Hot springs basically consist of warm water that flows out of volcanic locations. It can be used to provide people with a steam bath, or just a hot bath while they are nestled in the lap of nature.

Many people may find the volcanic ash, minerals, and solid rocks amazing collectibles.

They may try to take a piece of their vacation home with them! However, it can be a surprise to find out that communities of people actually live on mountains closely located near heat-radiating volcanoes that pose a risk of eruption.

Volcanoes, or the geothermal energy that results from any volcanic eruption, is not something that is new to humankind. The earth has been dealing with these volcanoes for around 100 million years.

Volcanoes are also one of the reasons why dinosaurs do not exist anymore. With this kind of history, and especially knowing that the magma spewed from volcanic eruptions is truly life-threatening, it may seem confusing why so many people continue to live close to volcanoes.

There are many millions of people who live near such hot and risky forces of nature.

Some of these volcanoes are also quite active and are often featured in the news. Just imagine a volcano eruption; think about the risk and danger that could result from the magma it deposits.

If you are enjoying this article, why not also read about why do metals have high melting points and why do people put cucumbers on their eyes here on Kidadl?

Do people live near volcanoes?

There are various reasons why people live on islands that have active volcanic presences. These reasons include harnessing geothermal energy, collecting minerals that deposit near erupted volcanoes, and evaluating various kinds of rocks. Most of the time, the soil around a volcano is rich and fertile, which characterizes land that is good for farming.

There are a lot of similar islands which are known for having notoriously dangerous volcanoes. Nonetheless, there are a few which are known more famously than others.

Tourists often like to visit Mount Mayon. The news often provides updates with a lot of information about the active and inactive volcanoes on the island.

There are around 130 volcanoes on the island, out of which 30 are active. Very often, they emit lava, ash, and steam, and they also are an abundant source of geothermal energy.

Likewise, the islands of Hawaii can relate to similar issues. The state has a large tourist body that visits its volcanoes.

Hawaii has around six active volcanoes, which provide an excellent source of geothermal power on a national level. Although many people and locals live near areas that have a volcano or are on the same island, the most active volcano presence is near the Pacific Ocean.

It might sound surprising, but around 30 million people worldwide live near volcanoes, within just 6-7 miles (9-10 km) and around some 800 million people all across the world live within 63 miles (100 km) of active volcanoes. Thus, the slopes of those areas are densely populated, and a lot of people are still living there.

What are the benefits of living near a volcano?

A volcano can be helpful in many different ways. The lava released from such eruptions forms some of the most beneficial rocks. They attract a lot of tourism and are the source of plenty of minerals, such as copper, and so can provide a number of benefits from both erupted and active slopes.

A volcano is indeed one of the most dangerous formations of nature, but when studied deeply, there are so many benefits to be uncovered. Sometimes, volcanic eruptions can leave people better off than before.

Volcanic eruptions are a great source of geothermal energy and can power technology systems. The areas that are populated very near to volcanoes are very rich in minerals such as gold and copper, and the soils are excellent for farming.

With very fertile soil and land that thrives under cultivation, farming around volcanoes makes sense. Many people will travel to areas where there is a volcanic presence, as the soils are just that fertile.

Another benefit is that the areas near volcanic presences attract a lot of tourism traffic. In many locations, the mountain slopes act as natural geysers due to the heat of the lava.

This results in hot springs, natural phenomena that attracts people from across the nation and even from other countries. In this way, living near a volcano is beneficial in many ways.

What are the dangers of living near a volcano?

Living near a volcano has more dangers and fewer benefits if your neighboring volcanoes are active and can possibly erupt any day. Volcanic eruptions are dangerous and can destroy homes, businesses, and cities; many people can be seriously injured or even killed if they don't evacuate as instructed.

When Mount Mayon erupted in the year 2019, nearly all the local communities evacuated their towns and cities. Because they did that, they were able to save their own lives and the lives of their families.

If evacuation actions are not taken in time, the volcanic ash can quickly blind people, and the flowing lava will destroy everything in its path.

Floods may even be triggered. Volcanoes are very dangerous, even beyond their eruptions; power outages, contaminated drinking water, and wildfires are some of the other dangers commonly associated with volcanoes.

How are volcanoes formed?

Volcanoes often remind us of steam, burning soils, and melting rocks. In simple terms, volcanoes form when the tectonic plates of the earth move under one another.

Volcanic formations take place when hot, molten rocks or hot gasses escape to find an opening in the earth's surface. It generally occurs when a very thin oceanic plate moves under a comparatively thick continental plate; when enough magma builds up, it is forced to escape out from under the earth's crust.

This what causes what is commonly known as a volcanic eruption.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do people live near volcanoes, then why not take a look at why do the clocks go back, or why do we celebrate Dussehra?

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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