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Mayon Volcano Eruption Disrupts the Holidays
by: Charles, a Pinoy in Calgary
Less than three months after the whole world witnessed nature's rage by having typhoon Ketsana, or locally known as typhoon Ondoy flood Central Luzon in the Philippines, taking more than 300 lives, now another calamity is about to test the strength and the will of the Filipino people.
Ironically, after water comes fire.
The Philippines is home to what is known as the World's Perfect Cone. The sound of this title seems to describe something so harmless but it really is not, for the perfect cone is actually the Mayon Volcano, the most active of active volcanoes in the Philippines.
Mayon volcano is an active volcano found in southeastern Luzon in the Philippines. It's perfect inverted cone shape makes it very popular among tourists and photographers from around the world.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica it has a base of 80 miles (130 km) in circumference and rises to 8,077 feet (2,462 metres).
The sight of Mayon Volcano, when dormant, near or afar is totally captivating. It is one of the most magnificent creations of mother nature. On October 13, 2008 it was included inNew7Wonders of Nature Top 10 list. (However, it did not make the cut to the Top 25 finalists, giving way to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, another site in the Philippines.)1
But now that it has awoken from its slumber, nobody would dare go near it. It has not lost its photogenic quality but the perfect cone is now equated with disaster. Residents of communities near the foot of the mountains have been ordered to evacuate their homes and are now sheltered in evacuation centers.
An alert level 4 has been raised by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS), which means no people can enter the 10 kilometer radius danger zone that the Philippine MIlitary has cordoned off to prevent access to the area.1
Mayon Volcano's history of eruptions have taken thousands of lives. That is why its activity is being closely monitored. Authorities have learned to be proactive in alerting the people of an imminent eruption.
Scientists maintain their prediction of a major eruption, they are ready to declare an alert level 5. All they are waiting for is for the volcano to shoot straight up a chocolate-colored mass of ash 10-15 kilometers into the air. The one last important sign prior to a major eruption.2
An eruption in December is truly sad for the people living in the region, for while people around the world are preparing to have a festive holidays, the people who live around Mayon, mostly farmers are forced to leave their homes and spend the holidays in cramped evacuation centers, probably happy to just have their basic needs met.
These people will not have a white snowy Christmas but a gray ash-y one.
I guess, once again, mother nature is trying to make us realize that the holidays is not an occasion to want more,but an occasion to be grateful for what we have and to share more to those who have less.
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