Volcanoes cause physical damage to structures and buildings, wildlife, local vegetation and the atmosphere, as well as posing health risks. Residences within the vicinity of a volcanic eruption often receive timely notice before an eruption occurs. This reduces the likelihood of danger to humans.
Scientific advancements in vulcanology have led scientists to be able to discover signs that indicate when a volcano is about to erupt. This allows the scientists to provide adequate notice to civilians before an eruption occurs, minimizing tragedy to humans.
Even when humans evacuate, however, damage to structures and buildings can occur. Volcanic eruptions throw large amounts of ash. When this ash descends and collects on the rooftops of buildings, the likelihood of the roofs collapsing increases. Because this ash is comprised of fine glass particles and is toxic, when it is breathed in, humans and animals in the immediate vicinity often experience respiratory problems.
Lava flowing from the center of the volcano causes a fire danger to wildlife and plants in the area, with the effects often felt for many miles around. Lava and fallen ash also destroy plant life by smothering it. Volcanic eruptions are also sometimes responsible for triggering tsunamis and electrical storms within areas surrounding the eruption.