The Mount Mayon, known for its beauty and destruction, but more about the former. Popular for its beautiful cone shape, and can often be seen on post cards. Mayon is a good example of a symmetrical stratovolcano, other examples are Mount Fuji in Japan and Mt. Agua in Guatemala.
This active volcano is located in the province of Albay in Bicol Region in southern part of Luzon.
1. The basic statistics
Base circumference: 130 km (130,000 meters or 80 miles )
Height: 2,462 metres (8,077 feet)
2. The most active volcano in the country. It is regularly monitored by Philvolcs (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology).
3. Number of eruptions. No one knows the exact number of recorded eruptions, but the approximate is over 50 since it was first done by Dutch explorer Joris van Spilbergen who recorded it on February 1616. Its last recorded eruption was September 18, 2014.
4. The most catastrophic eruption. According to Philvolcs, it occurred in February 1, 1814 that affected the areas such as Camalig, Cagsawa, Budiao, Guinobatan and half of Albay. The number of deaths were about 1,200 people. Other accounts reported 2,200 casualties.
5. Flood and lahar after 2006 eruption killed 1,399 people. Typhoon Reming occurred months after the 2006 eruption. The lahar around the volcano intensified the flood which caused a lot of casualties.
6. Part of Pacific Ring of Fire. Mayon is located in the area of the Pacific Ring of Fire, where 452 active as well as dormant volcanoes are located around the Pacific Ocean, that spans 40,000 kilometers (25,000 miles).
7. Mayon’s lava didn’t “bury” the Cagsawa Church. An old photograph captured by an American photographer Robert Larimore Pendleton in 1934 shows the intact facade of Cagsawa Church. Source of the photo is from the website of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
The only recorded account that a lava went beyond the 6 kilometer danger zone was in 1987. The year Cagsawa was affected by eruption was 1814.