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Roger Weller, geology instructor

Mt. Pinatubo
by Shelly Gordon
Physical Geology
Fall 2009

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.

      pinatubomap.gif           AshCloud.jpg

            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.

erupt1.jpg   erupt2.jpg  erupt3.jpg  erupt4.jpg

          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.”

                aftermath1.jpg    aftermath2.jpg    aftermath3.jpg

          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.

I picked 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.

Work Cited