Archive for the ‘eruption’ Category

From the ring of fire in South Pacific, sometimes it’s an underwater volcano that erupts

March 21, 2009

That’s what occurred in this aerial photo of an eruption of a volcano deep in the Pacific seabed, about 63 kilometers (39 miles) from Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga, a country in South Pacific.

The undersea eruption on March 18, 2009 was heralded by a strong earthquake that registered 7.9 nine in the Richter’s scale. A tsunami warning was raised, but luckily did not occur. Plumes of ash shoot up in the air destroying wildlife and plants in neighboring islands. (Photo Credit: AFP/ Matangi Tonga File/ Telusa Fotu) =0=

Imminent eruption of Alaska’s Mount Redoubt reminds us of Mayon and Pinatubo

January 30, 2009

The snow-capped Mt. Redoubt in Anchorage, Alaska is showing signs of restiveness that makes eruption probable. Residents living close to the 10,200 foot volcano are on alert as they set aside gears and provisions for the imminent volcanic eruption. Having seen showers of ash and pyroclastic debris in the past, the people there prepare masks and goggles, the first line of defense to protect their eyesight and breathing.

This isn’t unfamiliar to our kababayans in Bicol where Mt. Mayon displays periodic volcanic activity which forces the evacuation of villagers from its slope and gulleys. The PhilVolcs and government officials coordinate with the community to avoid loss of life and property during such emergency.

Farther north in Luzon Island of the Philippines is Mt. Pinatubo also blows its top with tons of lava and subterranean debris shooting up in the air. Ash deposits and later lahar destroy towns along its path.

In June 1991, the Mount Pinatubo brought hardship and misery in the neighboring provinces of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. The eruption forced indigenous tribesmen, the Aetas, to scamper from their mountain dwellings as volcanic debris rolled and covered lowland settlements, reaching as far as the environs of Manila. Pinatubo’s gigantic eruption destroyed crops and agriculture land, countless homes and villages making it one of the biggest eruptions in memory. (Photo Credits: Blastard; DiffusedPixel; US Geological Survey PD) =0=

Mount Mayon and Mount Pinatubo


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A Rawitdawit on the 1814 Mayon Volcano Eruption

December 21, 2008

In 1962, while visiting the town of Budiao, Bishop Teotimo C. Pacis recorded an old rawitdawit (poem) on the eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1814 (Realubit 1983: 336). Bikolnon scholar, Maria Lilia F. Realubit included this rawitdawit in her book Bikols of the Philippines (1983). Here is the untranslated rawitdawit:


Kan taon 1814 pag-oran nin bato
Kaaldawan Martes dos de Febrero
Alas siete an aga oras campanario
Iyo si pagsimba kan gabos na tawo.

Aso madali na magpoon an misa
An poro kan bukid natatahoban na
Nin asong malibog makakangalas na
Ining horog-dorog makakatakot na.

Oras alas nueve an gabos na tawo
Sa lawog simbahan riribok nang gayo
An padi nagtaram dai magluwas kamo
Ta kun magpirit igua nin peligro.

Iyo nang pagpoon pag-oran nin bato
Di na nakaluwas an gabos na tawo
Duman sa simbahan huli ta sirado
Alagad an padi nagluwas secreto.

Na kan mapara an pag-oran nin bato
labing ciento ochenta nagadan na tawo
Gaba si simbahan sagkod campanario
Huling darakula naghugpa na bato

Iyo nang pagpoon nin pagdurulugan,
Si pagsadiri ninda saindang binayaan;
May nagpasan baol, estampa kung minsan
Iguang nagpapandong anit nin karabaw.
Digdi na natapos an sakong pagsaysay
Huli ta dai na akong naisipan
Alagad an iba kun may naaraman
Idagdag na sana ining kasaysayan.
(Realubit 1983: 175)

The word “mayon” is said to be from the word “magayon” which means beautiful in the Bicol language. Indeed, Mayon volcano is renowned for its almost perfect inverted cone shape. Its beauty, however, is matched by the ferocity of its eruptions. The worst recorded eruption occurred in February 1, 1814 which buried almost the entire town of Cagsawa. The poem above tells how the people tried to find safety inside the church of Cagsawa. However, as the picture above shows, the whole church was buried except for the tower. The rawitdawit above, narrating the events of the 1814 eruption, is by now almost 200 years old.

After more than 900 earthquakes, Legazpi City sets to inspect buildings

September 7, 2008



Cone-shaped Mayon Volcano which spews intermittent plumes on its crater and shows definite signs of restiveness is the object of close watch by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhilVolcs). It was reported that 900 earthquakes of varying intensity rocked the city since August 15, 2008. GMANewsTV (09/07/08)

As a result, Legazpi’s city council voted on a resolution to have buildings inspected for damages. Citizens of the picturesque locale which nestles on the foot of the volcano prepare to assess the structural worthiness of malls, schools, churches and other infrastructures which might have sustained damage. (Photo Credits: Engr. Denz Rodriquez/dxpsycho)=0=

Mayon Volcano grumbles as Penafrancia Fiesta draws near

September 2, 2008

While the Penafrancia fiesta boils and gains steam in Naga City for its September 2008 celebration, majestic Mayon Volcano in Albay on whose feet Legazpi City rests, shows signs of restiveness and possible eruption. White steam clouds billow on its summit.

For the last few weeks, an advisory to keep distance—at least 6 kilometers away from the crater is in place by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhiVolcs) as series of minor tremors of tectonic origin are felt in the area. Even Taal volcano in Batangas also shows similar activity; light earthquakes are felt in the last 24 hours. Inquirer (09/02/08, Aguilar E.).

Earthquake in Legazpi City & Mayon Volcano’s possible eruption

August 15, 2008


A moderately strong earthquake which registered 6 in the Richter scale occurred in Legazpi City and Virac, Catanduanes on August 15, 2008. The quake whose epicenter is 42 kilometers northeast of Sorsogon, Bicol, was Intensity 5 in Sorsogon City and Irosin, Sorsogon; Intensity 3 in Naga City, Camarines Sur; Bulan, Sorsogon; Roxas City; Masbate City; Catarman, Samar; and Intensity 2 in Palo, Leyte; Borongan, Eastern Samar; and Silay, Negros Occidental. No casualties or damages were reported. Philstar (08/15/08, Flores,H.)

Meanwhile restive Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines is showing signs of possible eruption; a pyroclastic flow can occur anytime. Ed Laguerta, Philvocs resident volcanologist said there is a build up of magma in the volcano. Part of the Pacific region’s “ring of fire,” Mayon has erupted more than 50 times since 1616, the last was in June to August 2006. Four months after the last eruption, about 1,000 people died when Tyhpoons Milenyo and Reming dislodged tons of volcanic debris that swept villages near the volcano.

In preparation for an emergency, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda instructed disaster officials not to allow people within 6 kilometer radius from the crater which spewed a 200-meter ash and showed intensified summit glow in the past weeks. Bicol Mail (08/15/08, Arguelles M; Barcia R.) =0=