Mayon Volcano

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Mayon Volcano in the Philippines
Pyroclastic flows at Mayon Volcano.jpg
Mayon Volcano on 23 September 1984
Elevation 2,463 metres (8,077 feet)
Location Albay, Philippines
Coordinates 13°15′24″N, 123°41′6″E
Type Stratovolcano
Last eruption 2006 (Continuing)

Mayon Volcano is an active volcano in the province of Albay in the Bicol Region. Its almost perfectly-shaped cone is considered by some to be the Philippine equivalent of Mount Fuji in Japan. 15 kilometers to the southeast of the volcano is Legazpi City.

Mayon is classified by volcanologists as a stratovolcano (composite volcano). Its symmetric cone was formed through alternate pyroclastic and lava flows. Mayon is the most active volcano in the country, having erupted over 50 times in the past 400 years. It is located between the Eurasian and the Philippine Plate, at a convergent plate boundary: where a continental plate meets an oceanic plate, the lighter continental plate overrides the oceanic plate, forcing it down; magma is formed where the rock melts. Like other volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean, Mayon is a part of the "Pacific Ring of Fire".



Mayon Volcano overlooks a pastoral scene approximately five months before the volcano's violent eruption in September 1984.

Mayon has had forty-seven eruptions in recorded history; the first recorded eruption was in 1616, the latest (prior to 2006) being a mild outpouring of lava in June 2001. The most destructive eruption of Mayon occurred on February 1, 1814. At that time lava flows buried the town of Cagsawa and 1,200 people perished. Only the bell tower of the town's church remained above the new surface. Pyroclastic flows killed 77 people, mainly farmers, in Mayon’s last fatal eruption in 1993. No casualties were recorded from the 1984 eruption after more than 73,000 people were evacuated from the danger zones as recommended by scientists of Mckenzie Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. [1]

2006 activity

Map showing major volcanoes of the Philippines
Mayon Volcano and Albay
  • July 18, 2006: The number and size of incandescent rockfalls from the active lava dome, as well as sulfur oxide emissions, are increasing, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, which maintains that pyroclastic flows or an explosive eruption could occur any time now.
  • August 7, 2006: The Philippine government ordered the evacuation of about 20,000 people living near the volcano, stating that an eruption was feared soon [2] . Volcanologists have detected 21 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes since early Sunday morning. [3]
  • August 8, 2006: The government expected to move some 34,276 people to 31 state-run shelters and warning that the mountain could explode at any time. [4] [5]
  • August 9, 2006: Volcanologists warned that Mount Mayon could explode at any time but that the gravitational pull of a full moon could provide the final push. A full moon coincided with at least three of Mayon’s nearly 50 explosions over the last four centuries, including the two most recent in 2000 and 2001. Nearly 40,000 people have been moved from an 8-km (5-mile) danger zone on the southeast flank of the volcano, which has been quaking and spitting plumes of ash since July. [6]
  • August 10, 2006: Scientists in the Philippines renewed warnings of a major explosion at the Mount Mayon volcano, describing a sudden period of quiet as "ominous". A drop in gas emissions and earthquakes sparked fears that the crater had plugged itself, increasing the likelihood of an explosive eruption. [7]
  • August 11, 2006: Scientists said ground surveys showed Mayon was still "swollen" and registered a high number of volcanic earthquakes, emitted large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas and continued to eject lava down its slope nearly four weeks after it came to life in a "quiet" eruption on July 14. [8]
  • November 30, 2006: Typhoon Durian created mudslides of volcanic ash and boulders off of Mayon Volcano, killing hundreds and covering a large portion of the village of Padang in mud up to houses' roofs. [9] [10]

2009 activity

  • November 13, 2009: Mt. Mayon was reported to be at alert level 2, meaning the volcano is exhibiting moderate unrest, possibly due to magmatic activity. 702 families or 3, 550 people have been evacuated from their homes in the light seismic activity of from Mt. Mayon. [11]

New 7 Wonders of Nature

Mayon Volcano is a nominee in the New 7 Wonders of Nature contest. As of 13 October 2008, it ranked 10th out of 77 nominees. The Philippines has four nominees in the contest; the other three are Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, the Chocolate Hills and Tubbataha Reef.


  1. ^
  2. ^ BBC: Philippine volcano 'set to erupt'.
  3. ^ National Geographic: Photo in the News: Philippine Volcano Threatens Eruption
  4. ^ Manila Standard: 34,000 flee Mayon area; Manila Bulletin: Mayon volcano records 3 additional ash explosions
  5. ^ Mayon volcano's lava lights up the clouds near Legazpi City
  6. ^ Full moon fear for Mayon volcanoBBC News, Manila.
  7. ^ 'Ominous quiet' at Mayon volcanoBBC News.
  8. ^ Relief goods arrive amid wait for Mayon’s big bangAssociated Press
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Mayon activity triggers mass evacuations

External links