Wednesday 23 December 2009

Volcano Mt Mayon to erupt

The active strato volcano Mt Mayon shares similar characteristics to Vesuvius and is on the verge of an eruption in the Albay region, Luzon Island in the Philippines. The volcano and its eruption will be of interest to scholars studying the Vesuvian area including Pompeii as the type of eruption expected could mimic the catastrophic AD 79 eruption that destroyed the region.

Those who are following the eruption patterns closely after the volcanic activity hit major newsources last week will notice that the volcano is renowned for its perfect cone shape (similar to the likely depiction of a cone-shaped Vesuvius dating from the first century AD) prior to blowing off much of the cone. The eruption pattern also includes up to a thousand earthquake tremors per hour and scientists with PHILVOCS are predicting a pyroclastic flow if the volcano moves to from its current Level 4 eruption to a Level 5 alert (an active volcanic eruption), which is expected imminently.

The volcano has been spewing lava and ash for several days and major attempts to remove those occupying cities and settlements around the volcano were begun several days ago (documented in photos at the above link), but some people are refusing to leave their homes and belongings. Volcanic eruptions over the last 400 years have resulted in destruction in the area, including a catastrophic eruption almost 200 years ago that covered an entire town, but the volcano has also created intensely fertile landscapes for agriculture.

For those of us who study the Vesuvian region in antiquity, let us hope that those occupying the area are able to escape safely, as Vesuvius and other volcanic catastrophes have illustrated too succinctly that distance is the only safety that can be provided.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails