The Beauty of Mt. Mayon in Bicol

October 29, 2017 History

Mayon Volcano, also known as Mount Mayon, is an active stratovolcano in the province of Albay, in the Bicol Region, on the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. Renowned as the “perfect cone” because of its almost symmetrically conical shape, Mayon forms the northern boundary of Legazpi City. Local folklore refers to the volcano as Bulkang Magayon (Bikol: ‘Beautiful Volcano’), after the legendary heroine Daragang Magayon (Bikol: ‘Beautiful Lady’). Mayon Volcano is the main landmark of Albay Province, Philippines.

It is 10 kilometres (6 mi) from the Gulf of Albay in the cities and municipalities of Legazpi City, Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao City, Tabaco City, Malilipot, and Santo Domingo (clockwise from Legazpi). It rises 2462 m (8,077 ft) above the gulf. Mayon Volcano is the Philippines’ most active volcano and is considered to be the world’s most perfectly formed volcano[4] for its symmetrical cone. It is a basaltic-andesitic volcano. Mayon has undergone forty-nine eruptions in recorded history. The first recorded major eruption was in 1616.

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Its 48th and latest major eruption was a quiet effusion of lava on July 14, 2006,[6] which was aggravated when a lahar caused by the rains of Typhoon Durian followed on November 30, 2006. A further summit eruption occurred on August 10, 2008. [7] Starting in January 2011, the volcano is weakly erupting and may be building up to a larger hazardous eruption. The most destructive eruption of Mayon occurred on February 1, 1814. Lava flowed but not as much compared to the 1766 eruption. Instead, the volcano was belching dark ash and eventually bombarding the town with tephra that buried the town of Cagsawa.

Trees were burned; rivers were certainly damaged. Proximate areas were also devastated by the eruption with ash accumulating to 9 m (30 ft) in depth. 2,200 Albay locals perished in what is considered to be the most lethal eruption in Mayon’s history. [4] The eruption is believed to have contributed to the accumulation of atmospheric ash, capped off by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815, that led to the Year Without a Summer in 1816. Mayon Volcano’s longest uninterrupted eruption occurred on June 23, 1897 which lasted for seven days of raining fire.

Lava once again flowed down to civilization. Seven miles eastward, the village of Bacacay was buried 15 m (49 ft) beneath the lava. In Libon 100 people were declared dead—incinerated by steam and falling debris or hot rocks. Other villages like San Roque, Misericordia and Santo Nino became deathtraps. Ash was carried in black clouds as far as 160 km (100 mi) from the catastrophic event. More than 400 people were killed. Samuel Kneeland, a professor and a geologist had observed the volcanic activity five months before the eruption. Kneeland was amazed with the beauty of Mayon:

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