Examples of volcanic eruptions during the 21st century include the eruption of Iceland's Hekla volcano in 2000, North Sumatra's Mount Sinabung in 2014 and Japan's Mount Ontake in 2014. Other eruptions include the Tungurahua volcano in Banos, Ecuador, in 2014 and Mount Merapi in Indonesia in 2010.
The Hekla volcano is a fairly active volcano with its last five eruptions occurring in 2000, 1991, 1984, 1981 and 1970. Scientists believe the volcano could erupt at any given moment. Iceland typically experiences a volcanic eruption every four years. Scientists thought Mount Ontake inactive until a phreatic eruption occurred without warning on September 27, 2014, killing approximately 54 people.
The Mount Sinaburg volcano, located in the Berastagi, Karo district, in North Sumatra, Indonesia, remained dormant for more than 400 years before it began intermittently erupting in 2014. On October 13, 2014, the volcano spewed pyroclastic gas and ash from its crater, causing residents to leave the area and killing dozens.
In an active eruptive phase since 1999, the Tungurahua volcano spewed ash and stone from its crater on August 31, 2014. In 2010, scientists observed white plumes erupting from Mount Merapi that reached 800 meters above the volcano. Lava began to flow from the volcano, prompting the local government to encourage residents to evacuate. A series of multiple eruptions later occurred, killing 153 people.
Out of the approximately 1,500 active volcanoes, there are an estimated 50 volcanic eruptions per year that release steam, ash, toxic gases and lava into the atmosphere.