In the Know: Mayon Volcano eruptions
Mayon Volcano erupted at least 50 times between February 1616 and July 2006, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Admired worldwide for its near-perfect cone, Mayon had its most destructive eruption on Feb. 1, 1814, when a mix of pyroclastic flows, volcanic lightning and lahar damaged the towns of Camalig, Cagsawa, Budiao and Guinobatan in Albay, and half of the province, killing 1,200 people.
Between June 4 and July 23, 1897, it blew up, killing at least 350 people, most probably from pyroclastic flows. Its violent phase lasted 17 hours and damaged the seashore of Sto. Domingo and the villages of Sto. Niño, San Isidro, San Roque, San Antonio and Misericordia in Sto. Domingo town, Ligao, parts of Bigaa in San Fernando, and Legazpi City, Phivolcs said.
Another eruption between Feb. 2 and April 4, 1993, was characterized by pyroclastic flows, lava flow and lahar. It claimed 77 lives and injured five others in such areas as Mabinit, Bonga, Camalig, Sto. Domingo and Legazpi.
Other eruptions occurred in July 1766 (39 dead), July 1853 (34 dead) and December 1871 (three dead).
Phivolcs recorded minor ash and steam eruptions with no reported casualties in 1861, 1862, June 1873, November 1876, December 1888, September 1941 and 1943. It noted that a series of ash explosions in 2003 and 2004 served as precursor to the 2006 activity.
Mayon’s last blast on July 14, 2006, was characterized by lava flow and ash explosions that reached as high as 800 meters.—Inquirer Research
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