18 volcanoes now pose ‘very high threat,’ U.S. government warns

U.S. government warns 18 volcanoes now pose ‘very high threat’
WATCH: The U.S. government warned on Thursday there were 18 volcanoes in the country that pose a "very high threat" as it updated its volcano threat assessments, with Hawaii's Kilauea topping the list and Mt. Shasta in California making the top five.

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

The U.S. Geological Survey is updating 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.

READ MORE: Hawaii volcanic eruption that created a new peninsula could last as long as 2 years

The others in the top five are Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington, Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano and California’s Mount Shasta.

The agency says a dozen volcanoes have jumped in threat level since 2005. Twenty others dropped in threat level.

Among those where the threat score is higher are Alaska’s Redoubt, Mount Okmok, Akutan Island and Mount Spurr. Threat scores also rose for Oregon’s Newberry Volcano and Wyoming’s Yellowstone.

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There are 161 active volcanoes in the U.S.