The Deadliest Volcanic Eruptions

The following table lists the deadliest volcanic eruptions in the world on record according to name, year, number of deaths, and major cause of deaths. In 1812, Tambora volcano in Indonesia erupted causing 92,000 deaths.

VolcanoYearDeathsMajor cause of deaths
Tambora, Indonesia181592,000Starvation
Krakatau, Indonesia188336,417Tsunami
Mount Pelee, Martinique190229,025Ash flows
Ruiz, Colombia198525,000Mudflows
Unzen, Japan179214,300Volcano collapse, tsunami
Laki, Iceland17839,350Starvation
Kelut, Indonesia19195,110Mudflows
Galunggung, Indonesia18824,011Mudflows
Vesuvius, Italy16313,500Mudflows, lava flows
Vesuvius, Italy793,360Ash flows, falls
Papandayan, Indonesia17722,957Ash flows
Lamington, Papua New Guinea19512,942Ash flows
El Chichon, Mexico19822,000Ash flows
Soufriere, St. Vincent19021,680Ash flows
Oshima, Japan17411,475Tsunami
Asama, Japan17831,377Ash flows, mudflows
Taal, Philippines19111,335Ash flows
Mayon, Philippines18141,200Mudflows
Agung, Indonesia19631,184Ash flows
Cotopaxi, Ecuador18771,000Mudflows
Pinatubo, Philippines1991800Disease
Komagatake, Japan1640700Tsunami
Ruiz, Colombia1845700Mudflows
Hibok-Hibok, Philippines1951500Ash flows
NOTE: All eruptions with more than 500 known human fatalities. Based on data in Volcanic Hazards: A Sourcebook on the Effects of Eruptions by Russell J. Blong (Academic Press, 1984).


Recent Volcanic ActivityVolcanoes of the WorldPrincipal Types of Volcanoes


Volcanoes of the World
Sources +