Monday, May 21, 2012

How Can Something This Beautiful Be That Lethal?

Monday, May 21, 2012

The sun pounded mercilessly, defying the leaden landscape that surrounds me. A few minutes into the two-hour hike to the crater lake, I looked around, dazzled by the splendor left behind by destruction. Can this be the same volcano that caused such havoc to our country several years ago? I asked myself. How can something this beautiful be that lethal?

Location: Boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales 
(15°08.4’ N, 120°21’ E)
Elevation:  1.445 km (height before eruption was 1.745 km)       
Base Diameter 40 km                                          
Caldera Lake:  Pinatubo Crater Lake (2 km in diameter and depth of 600 to 800 meters)  

The second-largest volcanic eruption of this century, and by far the largest eruption to affect a densely populated area, occurred at Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines on June 15, 1991.  The eruption produced high speed avalanches of hot ash and gas, giant mudflows, and a cloud of volcanic ash hundreds of miles across.  The impacts of the eruption continue to this day. (Source)

The former summit of the volcano was obliterated and replaced by a caldera 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide. The highest point on the caldera rim now stood 1,485 m (4,872 ft) above sea level, some 260 m (850 ft) lower than the pre-eruption summit. (Source)

A reported 847 people were killed by the eruption mostly by roofs collapsing under the weight of accumulated wet ash… In total, 364 communities and 2.1 million people were affected by the eruption, with livelihoods and houses being damaged or destroyed.… In addition to the severe damage sustained by these communities, roads and communications were damaged or destroyed by pyroclastic flows and lahar throughout the areas surrounding the volcanoes. (Source)


Arti said...

So so beautiful! But it has a sad history with it. The lake is so serene and the surroundings heavenly.
Have a wonderful sunday Angeli:)

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