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Mayon Volcano, Luzon island, Philippines

August 8th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Mayon Volcano is an active volcano in the Philippines in the province of Albay in the Bicol Region. Its almost perfectly-shaped cone is considered by many to be the Philippine equivalent of Mount Fuji in Japan. A few kilometres to the south of the volcano is Legazpi City.

Mayon is classified by volcanologists as a stratovolcano (composite volcano). Its symmetric cone was formed through alternate pyroclastic and lava flows. Mayon is the most active volcano in the country, having erupted around 50 times for the past 400 years. It is located between the Eurasian and the Philippine Plate, at a convergent plate boundary: where a continental plate meets an oceanic plate, the lighter continental plate overrides the oceanic plate, forcing it down; magma is formed where the rock melts.

Mayon is one of the 22 active volcanoes in the Philippines: Babuyan Claro, Banahaw, Bulusan, Mount Biliran, Bud Dajo, Cagua, Camiguin de Babuyanes, Didicas, Hibok-Hibok, Iraya, Mount Iriga, Mount Kanlaon, Leonard Kniaseff, Makaturing, Matutum, Musuan, Mount Parker (Cotabato), Pinatubo, Ragang, Smith Volcano, Taal. They are all part of the so-called "Pacific ring of fire."

Mayon has had forty-seven eruptions in recorded history; the first recorded eruption was in 1616, the latest (prior to 2006) being a mild outpouring of lava in June 2001. The most destructive eruption of Mayon occurred on February 1, 1814. At that time lava flows buried the town of Cagsawa and 1,200 people perished. Only the bell tower of the town's church remained above the new surface. Pyroclastic flows killed 77 people, mainly farmers, in Mayon’s last fatal eruption in 1993. No casualties were recorded from the 1984 eruption after more than 73,000 people were evacuated from the danger zones as recommended by scientists of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

2006 activity

* July 18, 2006: The number and size of incandescent rockfalls from the active lava dome, as well as sulfur oxide emissions, are increasing, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, which maintains that pyroclastic flows or an explosive eruption can occur any time now.

* August 7, 2006: The Philippine government ordered the evacuation of about 20,000 people living near the volcano, stating that an eruption was feared soon. Volcanologists have detected 21 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes since early Sunday morning.

* August 8, 2006: The government is expected to move some 34,276 people to 31 state-run shelters.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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