Volcanoes & Earthquakes

The Most Dangerous Places on Earth


Tectonic activity has been a force on this planet since the beginning of time. The movement of our plates rubbing together, spreading apart, and breaking off have caused earthquakes, volcanoes, and other ensuing natural disasters for centuries. Even today, certain regions of the world, no matter how beautiful or interesting, are completely at the mercy of our tectonic plates - those places have been labeled as the most dangerous places on earth.

Italy - Emma

Beautiful mountains, sparkling lakes, and lush flowers are some of the reasons why Italy is so famous, but that's not all. The climate in Italy is also very good as it is usually sunny out. In south Italy everything is cheaper and less expensive than the stereotypes. Education is also very important to Italy and is shown by how they enroll more than 1 million students a year. Italy is also very rich in history as many of Italy's museums rank among the most famous. Italy is also known around the globe for its amazing food and wine.

Tectonic Activity

Most tectonic activity in Italy is caused by the Eurasian, African, and Adriatic plates colliding and pulling apart. The Adriatic plate is one of the leading causes for the volcanoes in southern Italy. The subduction between the Adriatic plate and the African plate is what is forming these volcanoes. The African and Eurasian plates also created the Apennines Mountains which are a chain of mountains in Italy. The valleys of these mountains are also the homes of many families, but are also very dangerous do to earthquakes that can cause avalanches and landslides. The Adriatic sea was formed by the Adriatic plate separating from the African Plate. These plates also formed the Italian peninsula when Pangaea broke apart. Scientist describe the counter-clockwise motion of the Adriatic plate as rigid. There is also many convergences going on between the three plates. Italy has actually earned a reputation for being one of the most earthquake-prone countries in Europe. Italy also sits on many fault lines that are hard to find, so many earthquakes aren't predicted until after they've happened.

Why Italy is dangerous?

Italy is beautiful, but also dangerous. The average volcano VEI is a 3 and the average magnitude of an earthquake in Italy is a 5. Although these numbers aren't high they're still dangerous. The most famous volcanic eruption happened in Italy. Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered two cities in ash and lava in 79 A.D. Since then Mt. Vesuvius has erupted 30 times . The most destructive earthquake in Europe was in Italy and had a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale. It caused a tsunami with 40 ft waves and killed around 100,000 people. There is an average of 18 earthquakes a year. There is also many active volcanoes in Italy. The tectonic activity causes lots of damage to property and homes. On average $2,610,295.24 is spent on damage yearly. Around 813 people are killed per year and 21,511 people are effected by tectonic activities in Italy.

Indonesia - Alexis

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Why do People Want to Live There?

Indonesia, formally known as the Republic of Indonesia, is located just North of Australia at 11°S and 6°N. This beautiful country resides in Southeast Asia and lies on both sides of the equator. The tropical, warm climate, beaches characterized by brightly colored coral reefs, and high-peaked mountains make Indonesia wonderful place to visit. Tourist attractions such as Bali, Borobudur, Gili Islands, and several national parks make Indonesia a fun, exciting country that offers new experiences and opportunities for its tourists and inhabitants. In addition, Indonesia’ residents are friendly, culturally flexible, and religiously tolerant, making Indonesia a prime spot to reside or vacation.

Tectonic Plates

Unfortunately, Indonesia sits on the continental Eurasian and Australian plates and the oceanic Philippine Sea and Pacific plates. The oceanic Indian plate has subducted underneath the Eurasian plate, which has made Indonesia one of the most seismically active areas on earth. The subductions of the plates are liable to trigger earthquakes or cause one of Indonesia’s 150 active volcanoes erupt. However, not all tectonic activity is destructive. The tectonic plates in Indonesia have created several fault zones, such as Semangko, Great Sumatran, and Palu-Koro faults, to name a few. The interactions of tectonic plates have also formed many of the 17,508 islands and scenic mountains.
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Why so Dangerous?

Indonesia, despite all of its beautiful attributes, is a terribly dangerous and risky place to live. On average, a typical earthquake rocks Indonesia with a 5-6 magnitude or a normal volcano eruption has an astounding VEI of 7. Yearly, tectonic activity claims the lives of 6,209 people and affects almost 700,000 humans in the area. Nearly $150 million is paid by Indonesia to make up for the damage caused by tectonic activity. Even surrounding areas are devastated by Indonesia’s tectonic activity; a radius of up to 83 miles can be affected by the destructive earthquakes, volcanoes, and ensuing tsunamis, and in some cases, these affected areas are demolished. Overall, Indonesia’ tectonic activity is highly dangerous and threatens anyone in the area, no matter who you are.

Hawaii - Kylee

Why do people want to live there?

There are many places that can be dangerous because of tectonic activity. But Hawaii can have a good side to it. Today, Hawaii has both active and inactive volcanoes.Because of its continuous volcanic eruptions, Hawaii is the only state in the nation to have an increasing land area. Living in Hawaii can be paradise everyday, its beautiful beaches, nature reserves, and amazing palm trees. It’s scenery is amazing you can see whales and dolphins. Also you can swim with sea turtles, and snorkel with a whole bunch of different marine life.

Tectonic Activity

Usually for earthquakes and volcanoes to be present there has to be tectonic plates, but for Hawaii there is an exception. The Hawaiian Islands were formed by a hot spot occurring in the middle of the Pacific Plate. Volcanoes can be formed in the middle of the plate. The magma rises upward until it erupts on the seafloor, this is what a hot spot is. From this tectonic activity it has created over a 132 different kinds of islands, atolls, reefs, shallow banks, shoals, and seamounts stretching over 2,400 kilometers.

Why so Dangerous?

Hawaii seems like an amazing place to live from it’s beautiful beaches to the different types of marine life. But this place can be truly terrifying. Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on our planet. It is one of the most active volcanoes, having erupted 33 times since 1843 with its last eruption in 1984. Not very many people died in the 1984 eruption only about 80. Due to this volcano, it cost millions of dollars, a close estimate would be around seven million dollars in damage. Including roads and buildings in the surrounding areas.

Russia - Kaleb

Why do people want to live here

Russia is a outstanding place with many activities to do and beautiful scenery to take in. There are white, snowcapped mountains, sparkling rivers, lush, green forests, and golden onion domes of Orthodox church cathedrals. The many events that can be done in Russia is camping out and having a picnic on the beach all by River Dnepr. Also there is bike riding with your friends and family as well as skiing down the snow capped mountains. Don’t forget the dancing in the parks on weekends while listening to music from a live brass band. There are many resorts and scenic places to be.

Tectonic plate movement of Russia

Russia lies on the North American plate and southwest of it is the pacific plate. The boundary that these 2 plates form is a convergent boundary. The plates run into each other and the pacific plate slides under the North American plate causing volcanoes and some earthquakes to occur. This area makes tall, rocky coastlines. Also to the west of the North American plate is the Eurasian plate. This boundary is a divergent boundary. As they pull apart, they make trenches and valleys on land.

Russia’s dangers

Boom! Crack! Crash! The 2013 Okhotsk sea earthquake rocked Russia. This 8.3 magnitude earthquake was so powerful that not only could it be felt in the surrounding areas, but it could also be felt in places as far as Tokyo. It caused 30 million U.S. dollars in damage and killed 316,000 people! Also many more earthquakes have occurred such as the 8.1 Kuril Islands earthquake that killed 200,000 people and caused $2 million in damage and could be felt in Japan. Also there was the Sakhalin Isle earthquake that ranked on the richter scale a decent 7.5. It killed 1989 people and caused $100,000 in damage. The 1995 Neftegorsk earthquake caused 300 million dollars in damage and killed 2,000 of the 3,176 residents in the town. THats over half of the population! This earthquake ranked a 7.1 on the richter scale. Theres not just earthquakes here though. The Avachinsky volcano erupted and caused $200,000 in damage, but the death toll is not known.


This article has shown that modern science is still not advanced enough to prevent tectonic plates from, quite literally, rocking our world. Some of the locations most-visited by tourists because of their beauty and attractions - Hawaii, Indonesia, Italy, and Russia - are some of the most affected places by this tectonic activity - making them treacherous and risky places to visit or live. Eventually, scientific research and intervention will prove to be the greatest force of all, but until then - the entire world, including those four regions, will be controlled by tectonic activity - just as they were eons ago.

Works Cited