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Mount Pinatubo the 2nd largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century
Eruption: 15th June 1991
Location: Central Luzon Island near the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac and
Volcano type: Stratovolcano
Pinatubo was considered to be a sacred place for the ethnic tribe group
called Aetas. They considered the mountain as their supreme god `Apo na
Mallari' and considered the area sacred where they can freely communicate
with their departed forefathers whom they believe inhabit the animals,
trees and mounds of earth that abound there.
Pinatubo volcano is one of the 22 active volcanoes in the Philippines
following chain volcanoes bordering the western side of Luzon Island.
Pinatubo lies at a convergent plate boundary where the oceanic Philippine
plate subducts beneath the continental Eurasian plate.
A hydrothermal explosion occurred on April 2, 1991 after 450 years of
slumber. Rumbling sounds were heard. Small ash ejected and steam coming
out of the vent. The pre- eruption was later followed by quakes, ash
ejections and dome formation.
The first people to witness this were the local tribes who reported what
they saw to the PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE OF VOLCANOLOGY and SEISMOLOGY.
During the eruption 5 billion cubic meters of ash was ejected reaching 30 km
above the vent.
847 people lay dead.
More than 1 million people were displaced.
Hundreds of private properties and infrastructure cost tens of billions of
pesos to rebuild.
Agriculture and economic loss.
Social effects were devastating which was made worse with Yunya typhoon
after the eruption. The rain and ash from the volcano with volcanic material
produced lahars, which made the situation worse.
Destroyed 42,000 homes, 40,500 hectares of farmland and infrastructure.
Because medical facilities were destroyed, there was an aftereffect of
diseases (eg. respiratory diseases).
Many people especially the Aeta tribe were badly affected. They came down
the mountain slopes and tried to live in the lowlands to survive. Some
people from the tribes didn't believe the government warnings and tried to
put their families to safety by going inside a cave. However, the cave was
near the danger zone and only 1 family survived out of the 40 people inside
Due to tons of sulfur dioxide release from the atmosphere, global
temperatures dropped dramatically and also contributed to global
warming (co2 produced).
Due to the combined cooperation of rescuers, early warnings, information
schemes and constant monitoring before and during the climax of volcanic
eruption, many successfully survived.
Source: ABS CBN- national news station of the Philippines
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By 2001, residents of Botolan, Zambales near the volcano was evacuated due
to the dangers of accumulated rainwater from the volcano lake because it
contained enough water to flood communities. To avoid the water from
flooding the communities that year, Aetas and the Department of Public
works and highways to drain excess water from the lake by digging up a
Pinatubo became a tourist spot for nature watchers in Angeles City.…read more