What would happen if a hurricane went inside a volcano and sucked up all the lava at the same time that the volcano was erupting?

Details: The island is 10,754km$^2$ and has just under 4 million inhabitants. Temperate subtropical climate normally, suitable for olive growing and wax melting. Main exports basalt, honeydew melons and melted wax. The most obvious feature of the island is a massive 120km wide, 6km tall stratocolvano (assumed dormant until the time of this story).

The island natives have extensive contact with other nations across the ocean, via shipping. Culturally they live in a post-colonial, pre-digital, self-sustaining society which values information, stories and gossip as currency and they only pray to the volcano. Because of this the people would never think of destroying the volcano because it is very important culturally and everybody would find out you did it really quickly.

Unless you had a secret way to create hurricanes.... but that's another story.

The basic question is, would the hurricane suck up all the lava and leave, or would it suck it all up and then spit it back out again with greater force and ferocity?

Further to this, is there any way that some people on the same island as the volcano might survive?

Please help, I need this for a world I am building.

Edit : The tectonic plates meet at a constructive boundary, that's part of how the volcano got so big. The plate depth at that point is 245 kilometres and there's a shallow layer of earth above it, not more than 10km average at the time of the story due to extensive basalt mining.

  • $\begingroup$ Is the plate boundary constructive or destructive? Also can you please provide more information on the tectonic plate depth. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Sep 15, 2021 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for providing additional content. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Sep 15, 2021 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ how would a hurricane suck up anything? Your title says "tornado" but the text is "hurricane" $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Sep 15, 2021 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean to describe a water spout equivalent over a lava lake? No, you said "erupting" so it's being thrown into the air. I don't know how that material could be "sucked" into anything though. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Sep 15, 2021 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ Is what you are looking for a hypercane? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Sep 16, 2021 at 3:44

1 Answer 1


This is exactly what happened during the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991. While it was having a VEI-6 eruption, Typhoon Yunya made a direct hit on it.

The result was not that the Typhoon sucked up all the lava. Far from it. Typhoons don't have that much power compared to an VEI-6 eruption. All it did was to spread the ash around more, add water to the ash, and (I suspect) made for more pyroclastic flows as they filled up valleys over 200 m thick.

Wet ash is very heavy and can break down roofs.

  • $\begingroup$ It's worth noting that pedants will say that nothing is ever "sucked", it is actually "blown" by the higher atmospheric pressure on the other side of it. In the case of a volcano, the internal pressure is so high that it really doesn't matter much what the atmospheric pressure is on the receiving end. Similarly, atmospheric pressure simply isn't enough to keep big chunks of rock, molten or otherwise, in the air. The impact location may be affected, the same way artillery is affected by wind, but even the strongest wind won't keep a big chunk of rock or a 105mm shell in the air. $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2021 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ @KerrAvon2055 But if there is no such thing as sucking then how am I supposed to eat worms through a straw? $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Sep 16, 2021 at 0:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Daron you are lowering the pressure in your mouth. The atmospheric pressure on the other side then blows the worm through the straw into your mouth. (I'm not going to ask why you want to eat worms.) $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2021 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ @KerrAvon2055: My take away is that if nothing sucks, it blows. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Sep 16, 2021 at 1:57

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