Article by Aydan Corkern

Volcanoes can be found all over the world. Some are downright dangerous while others have been laying low for quite some time. Here are the top 5 dangerous volcanoes in the United States.

Taking the top spot for most dangerous volcano is Hawaii’s own Kilauea, which is considered to be the most active volcano in the world. Kilauea’s first eruption is believed to have occurred some 300,000 to 600,000 years ago, and the oldest dated rocks found are more than 20,000 years old. Surround Kilauea is a rainforest and other volcanic formations, and the volcano, which is located in Volcanoes National Park is open to visitors. It has been erupting continuously since 1983 and is predicted to last for as long as the planet lives.

Mount St. Helens is located in Skamania County, Washington, which is over 90 miles south of Seattle. Mount St. Helens is particularly famous for the deadliest volcano in U.S. History that occurred on May 18, 1980 and killed 57 people, damaged 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railway, and almost 200 miles of highway.

Also located in Washington state, is Mount Rainier, located over 50 miles southeast of Seattle in the Mount Rainier National Park. The lava dates back to over 800,000 years ago. While it is a generally dormant volcano with limited activity, there is the threat of mudflows caused by the excess ice that accumulates atop the volcano. Nearby communities, such as Renton, Kent, and Auburn could very well be destroyed and parts of Seattle could be affected as well.

Oregon’s Mount Hood, on first glance, belongs on the front of a postcard or the cover of a traveling magazine. Its peak reaches in excess of 11,200 feet and houses twelve glaciers. The volcano is classified as dormant in the time being and the likelihood of an eruption during the next few years is unlikely. As a result, the area around Mount Hood has been open to recreational activities, such as fishing, skiing, and river rafting.

Last on the list is Mount Shasta, located in Northern California’s Siskiyou County. Shasta is a single formation with no other mountains surrounding it. Mount Shasta has been quiet for hundreds of years, the last eruption believed to have occurred about 200 years ago. During the past 10,000 years, Shasta erupted every 800 years but records show that it has erupted every 600 years during the past 4,500 years. Deposits from its eruptions can be found under its nearby towns and although the volcano is dormant for now, it is only a matter of years before it shall erupt again.

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