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Mayon Volcano



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Mt Mayon, Philippines

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The commanding and dramatic Mount Mayon is a volcano located near Legaspi City, Albay province, Luzon Island, Philippines.

Mayon rises 2,462 meters above sea level and is a most beautiful site (the word magayon in the local Bicolano dialect means "beauty"). Mt Mayon is claimed to be the most perfect shaped volcano cone in the world.

Mt Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines, having erupted 49 times since records began in 1616.

Mayon's deadliest recorded eruption was in 1814 when the entire town of Cagsawa (near to today's town of Daraga) was buried under mud, rocks and volcanic ash (only the top of the bell tower of the town's church remained visible). Areas near the volcano were buried under 9 meters (30 feet) of ash. In all, more than 2,200 people in the province of Albay were killed.

Mayon's longest uninterrupted eruption began on June 23, 1897 and lasted for seven days. Some villages were buried 15 meters (50 feet) beneath the ash. More than 400 were killed.

The geologist Samuel Kneeland viewed Mayon Volcano in early 1897 and wrote this:

At night the scene was truly magnificent and unique. At the date of my visit the volcano had poured out...a stream of lava on the Legaspi side from the very summit. The viscid mass bubbled quietly but grandly, and overran the border of the crater, descending several hundred feet in a glowing wave, like red-hot iron. Gradually, fading as the upper surface cooled, it changed to a thousand sparkling rills among the crevices, and, as it passed beyond the line of complete vision behind the woods near the base, the fires twinkled like stars, or the scintillions of a dying conflagration. More than half of the mountain height was thus illuminated.

Another dramatic eruption occured in 1928.
Click here to view some dramatic photos of the 1928 eruption of Mt Mayon.

In the 1984 eruption no deaths were recorded, after more than 73,000 people were evacuated from the danger zones.

In 2006 Mayon began to erupt again. No deaths were recorded from this eruption, as 40,000 people had been evacuated in advance from the danger zone. However, in November 2006 an unfortunate aftermath, Typhoon Durian hit the area causing mudslides of volcanic ash and boulders from the slopes of Mayon, which killed an estimated 1,000 in nearby villages.


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Author: David Paul Wagner
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