Volcano Case Study: Mount Pinatubo, Philippines

  • On June 10th 1991 an evacuation of US Clark Air Force Base was ordered, causing the displacement of 100,000 residents.
  • This was beneficial to the local people because the evacuation of the Americans encouraged them to evacuate too.
  • 48 hours after the evacuation, the volcano released a small eruption. The ash from this first blast was deposited, with communities up to 50 miles away being covered.
  • On the 15th June from 2AM onwards, Mount Pinatubo erupted, releasing ash 1000ft into the air. The ash plume was so large that it created its own weather system, creating lightning. It also blocked out the Sun, darkening the sky.
  • It began to rain pumice and mud – a combination of ash and water, due to the typhoon which hit the area shortly after the eruption. This mud raining down was heavy enough to collapse buildings.
  • Half of the regions animals’ died. Crops were destroyed, resulting in a food deficit, rising food prices, which people could not afford.
  • There was a total of 5-8kmĀ³ of ash deposits.
  • 50,000 people were left homeless.
  • 65,000 people lost their job.
  • The death toll was 847 in total – with less than 50 people being killed as a direct result of the initial eruption.
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