Government ranks 18 U.S. volcanoes as ‘very high threat’

Source(s)
Associated Press

By Seth Borenstein

Government scientists have classified 18 U.S. volcanoes as “very high threat” because of what’s been happening inside them and how close they are to people.

The U.S. Geological Survey has updated its volcano threat assessments for the first time since 2005. The danger list is topped by Hawaii’s Kilauea, which has been erupting this year. The others in the top five are Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington, Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano and California’s Mount Shasta .

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[John Ewert, the report's chief author] said the threat rankings aren’t about what will blow next, but “the potential severity” of the damage.

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The USGS said a dozen volcanoes have jumped in threat level since 2005. Twenty others dropped in threat level. That includes Salton Buttes, California and Fourpeaked in Alaska. None of the Big 18 changed in overall threat levels, even though 11 had overall threat scores dropping.

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