Memorable volcano eruptions from the past
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Santa Maria, Guatemala( DaveWilsonPhotography via Flickr / August 11, 2013 )
Before 1902, the Santa Maria volcano near the city of Quetzaltenango had been dormant for hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of years.
Because of Santa Maria's lack of activity, locals did not recognize the seismic warning signs of an eruption and at least 5,000 people died in the Oct. 24, 1902, eruption, a VEI 6, one of the largest in the 20th century.
Pictured: Present-day Santa Maria, on June 20, 2007.
U.S. Geological Survey: Guatemala Volcanoes and Volcanics