Economic losses could top £15bn if a major eruption occurred, study says

If you thought the Icelandic volcano was bad, just keep your fingers crossed that Italy’s Mount Vesuvius doesn’t erupt.

A major eruption of Vesuvius could result in 8,000 fatalities, 13,000 serious injuries and total economic losses of more than $24bn (£15.59bn), according to a new study supported by the Willis Research Network (WRN). The WRN put together a list of the world’s 10 most disruptive volcanoes, and found that, together, these volcanoes could affect almost 2.1 million people, with an aggregated exposed residential property value of $85bn.

The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland that erupted on 14 April was not on the list, but the Hekla volcano, Iceland’s most active, was ranked as the ninth most dangerous volcano in Europe.

The study noted that more than 87% of the aggregated exposed property value for the 10 volcanoes is in the Neapolitan region near Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei.