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1991 Mount Pinatubo

1991 Mount Pinatubo
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1991 Mount Pinatubo

Total costsN/A
Deaths 847

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The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines' Luzon Volcanic Arc was the second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, behind only the 1912 eruption of Novarupta in Alaska. Eruptive activity began on April 2 as a series of phreatic explosions from a fissure that opened on the north side of Mount Pinatubo. Seismographs were set up and began monitoring the volcano for earthquakes. In late May, the number of seismic events under the volcano fluctuated from day-to-day. Beginning June 6, a swarm of progressively shallower earthquakes accompanied by inflationary tilt on the upper east flank of the mountain, culminated in the extrusion of a small lava dome.On June 12, the volcano’s first spectacular eruption sent an ash column 19 km (12 mi) into the atmosphere. Additional explosions occurred overnight and the morning of June 13. Seismic activity during this period became intense. When even more highly gas-charged magma reached Pinatubo's surface on June 15, the volcano exploded, sending an ash cloud 40 km (25 mi) into the atmosphere. Volcanic ash and pumice blanketed the countryside. Huge pyroclastic flows roared down the flanks of Pinatubo, filling once-deep valleys with fresh volcanic deposits as much as 200 m (660 ft) thick. The eruption removed so much magma and rock from beneath the volcano that the summit collapsed to form a small caldera 2.5 km (1.6 mi) across.Fine ash from the eruption fell as far away as the Indian Ocean and satellites tracked the ash cloud as it traveled several times around the globe. At least 16 commercial jets inadvertently flew through the drifting ash cloud, sustaining about $100 million in damage. With the ashfall came darkness and the sounds of lahars rumbling down the rivers. Several smaller lahars washed through the Clark Air Base, flowing across the base in enormously powerful sheets, slamming into buildings and scattering cars. Nearly every bridge within 30 km (19 mi) of Mount Pinatubo was destroyed. Several lowland towns were flooded or partially buried in mud. More than 840 people were killed from the collapse of roofs under wet heavy ash and several more were injured.Rain continued to create hazards over the next several years, as the volcanic deposits were remobilized into secondary mudflows. Damage to bridges, irrigation-canal systems, roads, cropland, and urban areas occurred in the wake of each significant rainfall. Many more people were affected for much longer by rain-induced lahars than by the eruption itself.

Source: Wikipedia

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