A volcano that is erupting or has erupted during historic times is called active. A Volcano in which there is no evidence of any activity is considered extinct. Volcanoes that appear recent but have no recorded activity other than the quiet escape of gas are called dormant.
Some volcanoes are much more active than others. Stromboli, in the Lipari Islands near Sicily, has been constantly active since ancient times. Many active volcanoes are found in a belt, called the Ring of Fire, that circles the Pacific Ocean. Yet other volcanoes, such as Mount Vesuvius, continue in a state of activity for longer or shorter periods and then become dormant. The eruption that follows long dormancy is violent. This was shown in the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens in the state of Washington. It had been dormant for a period of 123 years of being in a dormant state. The danger to life posed by active volcanoes is not limited to eruption of molten rock or showers of ash and cinders. Mudflows are also equally troublesome. A mudflow triggered by an eruption that melted ice and snow on Colombia's Nevado del Ruiz volcano in 1985 killed more than 25,000 people.
Below is a list of some active volcanoes in the world.
VOLCANO: DATE OF ERUPTION OR ACTIVITY:
Popocatepetl, Mexico: December 6, 1997
Bezymianny, Kamchatka: December 5, 1997
Kilauea, Hawaii: 1983-continuing
Ruapehu, New Zealand: October, 1997
Adatara, Honshu, Japan: September 15, 1997
Karymsky, Kamchatka, Russia: August 2, 1997
Etna, Sicily, Italy: July 31, 1997
Pavlof, Alaska: June 3, 1997
Merapi, Indonesia: Nov 22, 1994
Fogo, Cape Verde: April 2, 1995
Akutan, Alaska: March 10, 1996
Mount St. Helens: January 1 - September 30, 1995
Cerro Negro, Nicaragua: November 30, 1995
Hosho, Kyushu, Japan: October 12, 1995