Hazard Hotspots - The Philippines Case Study

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  • Created by: Tasleem
  • Created on: 13-01-13 14:33

The Philippines

The Philippines is made up of 7000 islands and has a population of 91 million. Their GDP in 2006 was US$50000 percapita (classed as a middle-income by the World Bank). It is mostly a mountainous landscape with coastal lowlands.

The Philippines is exposed to a range of hazard which makes it an extremely high-risk environment. It sits across a major plate boundary, its northern and eastern coast face the Paicific (most tsunami-prone ocean), and it lies within the South-East Asia major typhoon belt. Its mountainous landscape also means it is prone to landslides.

Tectonic Hazard Background

The Philippines lies between the Philippine Plate and the Eurasion Plate. The Eurasion Plate is forced beneath the Philippine Plate, creating the deep Manila Ocean Trench. Plates move in sudden 'jerks' which produce an earthquake each time. This is a destructive plate boundary because one plate is destroyed beneath the other.

These destructive plate boundaries also causes destructive volcanic eruptions. The subducted Eurasion Plate melts in the Earths mantl, the magma forms a magma chamber. Some magma becomes explosive, especially when combined with gas in the magma chamber. Because the rock has just melted, it cools easily wherever it comes close to the Earth's surface. Little lava is produced. Magma solidifies to the Earth's surface and produces a solid cap over the vent. Pressure grows, so when the volcano does erupt, it does so with a huge magnitude of force.

80% of the worlds volcanoes occur along destructive plate boundaries. Their explosive nature has three risks; the eruption itself, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

Disaster Examples

Mount Pinatubo's volcanic eruption (June, 1991


Zainab Mahmood


Isn't the Philippine (oceanic) plate subducted under the Eurasian (continental) plate as it is a oceanic-continental convergence? 

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