Why Do People Live Near Active Volcanoes?

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In some cases, locals live near volcanoes out of allegiance or personal connection to the area. Since active volcanoes may go hundreds or thousands of years without eruption, some residents are descendants of many generations of people living in the area. Other residents choose to live near the volcano for functional, economic or aesthetic benefits.

The land near active volcanoes is known for being mineral-rich. Quality soil allows local farmers to harvest crops for family consumption or for sale to others. Tourists also venture into areas surrounding volcanoes, bringing important revenue opportunities with them. Opportunistic locals can set up shops and sell souvenirs to tourists to generate extra income.

Just as tourists visit volcanoes for sight-seeing and hiking, locals appreciate the natural beauty that comes with an active volcano. Along with the mountainous terrain volcanoes are often surrounded by forests and lush green plants for onlookers to enjoy.

Along with these primary motives for living near a volcano, some residents are simply willing to take on the odds that a volcano eruption will not happen during their lifetime. While the consequences of an eruption, including death, property devastation and bad health, are severe, people may assume that if an eruption has not occurred in centuries, it will not anytime happen soon.