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Roger Weller, geology instructor
by Shelly Gordon
The Sleeping Giant Awakens
Mt. Pinatubo, Phillipines
Over the centuries many volcanoes erupted from all over the countries, here
is the second largest volcano that erupted on Earth in its history, which is
Mount Pinatubo located in the Philippines. This occurred in June, 1991; it
produced high-speed avalanches of hot ash and gas, giant mudflows, and a
cloud of volcanic ash within hundreds of miles across.
According to Mt. Pinatubo, a year earlier on July 16, 1990, the
earthquake had shattered throughout northeast of Mount Pinatubo on the
island of Luzon in the Philippines. This caused a landslide and increase of
steam emissions from the preexisting geothermal area of 500 year old slumber
that appeared. Therefore, from June seven to twelve, the first magma have
reached the surface of Mount Pinatubo, because there were gas that contained
in it on the way to the surface like a bottle of soda pop that have gone
flat. Within 7 days of eruption from June 7 to 12, millions of cubic yards
of gas charged magma to reach the surface and exploded through the eruption.
When this occurred, more highly gas charged magma reached the surface on
June 15, the volcano exploded in a cataclysmic eruption that ejected more
than 1 cubic mile of material. The ash cloud from the eruption has rise to
22 miles into the air.
After the volcano erupted, the ash blown in every directions of the winds
like a typhoon and the fine ash fell throughout the Indian Ocean and
satellites tracked the ash cloud several times around the globe.
During my interview, my friend, Mary Garcia; who was born in the Philippines
and her father stationed in Clark Air Base when she was six to eight years
old. While she was living there, she was going through her experiences of
earthquakes several times and all Americans’ families gathered everything to
ship their households’ items and get ready to evacuate back to the United
States. She said, “It was a crazy and madness experience in my life and
seeing what everyone have gone through those times. And all those people
were ready to leave and all of my friends moved to the different states
expanding all over.” What she told me, she remembers seeing the hot ash all
over the cities that became calamities and many cars were parked the way it
was, it was a start when the ash erupted from the beginning. She left
Philippines few days before the massive erupted started on June 15. Also,
she remembers her father did videotape the Mt. Pinatubo ash eruption. After
all these years since the eruption, she said, “When I come back to visit my
hometown, I have always wondered about Clark Air Base and my mother told me
it was completely gone since Mt. Pinatubo corrupted everything.”
The aftermaths of Mt. Pinatubo, there were three major destructive which is ashfall, pyroclastic flow and lahar that caused destruction to Central Luzon’s infracture and rendered in agricultural land into waste lands. The hardest hit was the provinces of Zambales, Pampanga, and Tarlac where more than 86,000 hectares of agricultural lands and fishponds were affected by ashfalls and lahars.
But Pinatubo’s eruption affected more than 249,000 families or about 1.18 million people, including 847 deaths, 184 injuries and 23 missing.
this topic because hearing from my friend’s experience was interesting and
she sort of understand the eruption. And to see those pictures was
devastating look and very sad. But I wonder if this Mount Pinatubo still
active for more many years to come? This should be the wake-up call for all
other countries to get prepared for. I hope that in the near future,
wherever people at, they must be prepared before the volcano erupted.