GUATEMALA's Volcan de Fuego has erupted with an official death toll that currently stands at 69 people, making it one of the deadliest eruptions in recent history. The volcano sits with others in the active 'Ring of Fire' area in the Pacific Ocean, but where are the other volcanoes?
The catastrophic eruption in Guatemala occurred in the “Volcán de Fuego”, which is located in a zone of volcanic and tectonic activity that extends for 25,000 kilometers.
The stretch, known as the Ring of Fire, is currently home to 452 seismically active volcanoes and could explain why Guatemala's last eruption was so violent.
Plate tectonics are the primary cause of such an area of activity, as the Ring of Fire is where plate tectonics continually move and macerate.
Guatemala's Volcán de Fuego is in a "subduction zone" where two tectonic plates collide and release magma that in turn feeds the volcano.
Where are the other volcanoes in the 'Ring of Fire'?
The Ring of Fire is divided into a collection of trenches that surround the Pacific Ocean in a horseshoe shape.
The edge of tectonic plates is where the greatest seismic activity takes place and where most volcanoes are found.
Of the 15 total trenches in the area, 13 form the ring of fire.
Volcanoes in the Ring of Fire are located above each trench, from the Peru-Chile trench to the Kermadec trench over New Zealand.
Volcanoes in the Ring of Fire include:
Christchurch earthquake, New Zealand
Mount Saint Helens, Washington, United States
Mount Pinatubo, Philippines
Mount Fuji, Japan
Paricutín volcano, Mexico
Santiago earthquake, Chile
Sendai Earthquake, Japan
Where are most volcanoes located?
North America has the most volcanoes in the Ring of Fire, and the most on the planet.
Located in Alaska are the Aleutian Islands, a collection of volcanic islands that sit in the Aleutian trench.
The volcanoes on the Aleutian Islands are constantly active, with eruptions occurring frequently.
A large number of volcanoes are found on the west coast of the United States, but not on the plate boundaries.
The group of volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands and its surroundings
What other volcanoes in the ‘Ring of Fire’ pose a threat?
Guatemala's deadly volcano is located in the Central American trench between South America and North America, and is the most active volcano in Central America.
The loss of life so far has been devastating, and there are other volcanoes in the area that are known to kill people.
One currently in the area, Chile's Villarrica volcano, is one of the most active in the country.
In the past century, more than 100 people have died from lahars, flows of volcanic mud that the volcano produces.
By Liam Doyle
Original article (in English)