This Day in History: Mt. Pinatubo, the Aftermath

   Mt. Pinatubo lies at the intersection of the borders of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. Before the volcanic activities in 1991, its eruptive history was unknown to most people. It was covered with dense forest which supported a population of several thousand indigenous people, the Aetas. 

   In June 15, 1991, after a long period of dormancy, Mt. Pinatubo erupted violently that it was considered the second largest volcanic eruption of the twentieth century. The eruption lasted for nine hours causing numerous earthquakes due to the collapse of the summit and the creation of caldera. Up to 800 people were killed and 100,000 became homeless. Millions of tons of sulfur dioxide were discharged into the atmosphere resulting in the decrease in the temperature worldwide over the next few years. Complicating the eruption was the arrival of typhoon Yunya bringing a lethal mix of ash and rain. Thousands of people were evacuated but the surrounding areas were severely damaged by pyroclasitc flows, ash deposits and lahars caused by rain waters, re-mobilizing earlier volcanic deposits destroying thousands of infrastructures and altering the river systems months to years after the eruption.

   The events of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption began in July 1990, when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred 100 kilometers northeast of the Pinatubo region, determined to be a result of the reawakening of Mt. Pinatubo

many were homeless, billions pesos
of damage to properties
   The volcano’s eruption caused the destruction of billions of pesos’ worth in economic and property damage; 2.1 million people were affected with livelihood and homes being destroyed. Aside from the massive damage to the Philippine economy, the eruption also had world-spanning ramifications.

   Decade after its catastrophic eruption, Mt. Pinatubo’s serene cyan-colored crater lake, canyons made of pyroclasitc materials and the growing tropical rainforest has made it a popular tourist destination attracting many local and foreign visitors. 

the resulting crater lake of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption, slowly becoming popular tourist spot

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