Mount Pinatubo Eruption Case Study

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  • Created by: Fiona
  • Created on: 13-05-13 17:13


55 miles north-west of Manila

Destructive plate boundary - the denser oceanic Philippines plate is being subducted by the Eurasian  plate

Part of the Pacific 'Ring of Fire'

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July 1990 there was a 7.8 magnitude earthquake

From May-June '91 there were mini earthquakes, 5500 short tons of sulphur dioxide was emitted

On June 7th magma reached the surface and a 7km gas column was emitted

on June 12th high gas content magma was released and 5km3 of volcanic material was ejected - there was also a 22 mile ash cloud, pyroclastic flows and a 1.6 mile caldera formed

Secondary: a typhoon from 15th- 16th June led to lahars, roofs collapsed from the ash and disease occured in refugee camps

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Social Impacts

200,000 poorly built houses were destroyed

1 million farm animals starved to death

20,000 Aeta highlanders were displaced

disease due to poor sanitation in refugee camps (e.g. diarrhoea) and the ash emitted by the volcano (respiratory problems)

7,000 schools were destroyed

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Environmental Impacts

The ash cloud caused a drop in global temperatures by 0.5.C for 2 years and the amount of sunlight decreased by 10%

200,000 acres of rice growing land was destroyed

Farmers started growing fast-growing crops (e.g. peanuts, sweet potatoes) that could be harvested before the lahar threat

Ash, steam and 20 million tons of sulphur dioxide gas were ejected 30km into the stratosphere

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Economic Impacts

The prediction is thought to have saved $250 million in property

Losses to agriculture cost $40 million

16 aircraft were damaged - $100 million worth of damage

GRDP fell by 3% from 1990 - 91

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Demographic Impacts

Prediction by the USGS saved 5,000 lives

847 died

Aeta people were the worst affected

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Short-Term Responses

USGS prediction led to 75,000 people being evacuated

Evacuation camps were set up to house these evacuees

the National Disaster Coordinating Council mobilised civilian and military resources

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Long-Term Resources

Aid was sent by many countries, including the UK, USA, Norway and Japan

Aid from international organisations including WHO and UNICEF was also sent

The cost of caring for evacuees was $93 million

The Philippines government organised the response - the Office of the President passed laws needed to respond to the disaster and it was done as part of the disaster management plan

Clarke Air Force base shut forever - too much damage was sustained from the falling ash

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Response Problems

Roads were impassable

People were unprepared for the evacuation as the perception of a hazard decreases over time, people have a fatalistic atitude and don't believe they will actually be affected

Bridges were destroyed

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