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mount pinatubo

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Introduction

Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, June 1991 Before the eruption: * Not erupted since 1380 (dormant volcano) * Mt Pinatubo is located on the main Philippine island of Luzon * Area surrounding Mt Pinatubo was excellent for rice growing (weathered ash & lava). * Volcano monitored by the Americans from the nearby Clark Air Base using scientific equipment such as seismometers, tiltmeters and a GPS. Cause of the eruption: * The Philippines lies on a destructive plate margin * Philippines Plate (oceanic crust) is subducted under the Eurasian Plate (continental crust) * The oceanic crust is turned into magma, rises, and erupts on the surface Eruption Details * From 9th June 1991 there were many eruptions and earthquakes * Biggest eruption was around midday on 12th June 1991: > Explosion sent a cloud of steam and ash upto 30km into the sky (day turned to night). Volcanic bombs also thrown into the air > Pyroclastic flows went down the volcano slopes > Up to 50cm of ash fell on nearby farmland, villages and towns > Over 10cm fell within a 600km radius (some even reached Australia) ...read more.

Middle

* Planting in the following years (especially 1992) was impossible * Further lahars and landslides covered many low lying areas in thick mud * There were lahars in 1993 and 1995 (total number of people who died [by suffocation] in all the lahars = 70) * Over one million farm animals died (by starvation or by drinking contaminated water) * Rural to urban migration, as hundreds of farmers & families moved to cities to seek shelter and food * There was a lot of homelessness. Huge shanty-type refugee camps were set up. * Disease spread rapidly in these camps (especially diarrhea, chicken-pox and malaria.) * Over 600 people died later through disease spread through these camps * Therefore, total death toll = about 700 * Total cost of damage and repairs = $450 million * The ash that was ejected into the atmosphere encircled the Earth within a few days. ...read more.

Conclusion

Alert Level 5 - evacuation of all people living within 20km of the summit were evacuated * Total number evacuated before the big eruption on 12th June = around 1 million Short-term responses/ management after the eruption: * Shanty-type refugee camps set up * Emergency aid was brought into the area (eg food, drinking water, tents, blankets) * Disaster relief from other countries (from Governments and NGO's) was sent to the area * Some infrastructure was repaired (eg roads cleared of ash and mud, electricity supplied again after 3 weeks) Long-term responses/ management after the eruption * The Philippines is an LEDC and has little money to spend on rebuilding the area devastated by the eruption * New schools and houses have been built * New villages away from the danger area are slowly being built * Local authorities have tried to encourage new investment in the area (there is high unemployment eg Clark Air Force base still closed) * Repairs to the infrastructure damaged by the eruption continues ...read more.

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