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Volcanic Activities in Asia in 2011
Living in the Pacific Ring of Fire
Is the earth heating up? Are we all gonna end up like fried bacon? Did the recent news about volcanic activity remind you of the movie “2012 ”?
The spate of volcanic eruptions in 2011 around the “Pacific Ring of Fire” hogged news headlines around the globe. The Pacific Ring refers to a horse-shoe shaped string of faults lying at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. These faults cause most of the earthquakes in the region. This ring is home to 452 volcanoes and 75% of the most active and dormant ones in the world (**Wikipedia data ). With all these volcanoes, earthquakes do not lag far behind, and so do tsunamis.
People living in Asian countries where half of the Pacific Ring of fire lies such as Indonesia, Philippines, and Japan learn to co-exist with volcanoes and earthquakes. Due to the dearth in space owing to the ballooning population, areas previously uninhabited by humans such as volcanic slopes are now teeming with people. They try to adapt and integrate into their lives the beneficial as well as the consequences of living in such a dangerous location.
When humans live at the foot of a volcano, they have to deal with an unforeseeable force of nature. Most of these volcanoes are categorized as 'sleeping' or have only erupted a few times in the last hundred years. However, the possibility of an eruption is always present.
Benefits and the Costs
Volcanic soil makes for the best farming location, a factor why many farming communities as well as populations grew around these volcanoes. All is well, until just recently, when these deadly cones starting rumbling. Also comes with the volcanic activities are the earthquakes shaking people in their secure homes and sending thousand to evacuation shelters for safety.
Some are lucky to have survived but others who lived along the coastal areas were swept by massive walls of waves or tsunamis that unleased its fury on unsuspecting residents like what happened in Mentawai islands just minutes after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck. The aftermath was disheartening, 113 people perished with countless missing. The same fault caused the 2004 tsunamis which killed hundreds of thousands of people in Indonesia and neighboring countries.
Mt. Merapi (Indonesia)
Eruption: Oct. 26, 2010
Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in the archipelagic country of Indonesia. Indonesia sits in the Pacific Ring of Fire and has the most active volcanoes in the area. Mt. Merapi erupted 80 times already and has been named as the Decade Volcano due to its frequent volcanic activity in the 20th century.
Video credit: Russia Today (YouTube)
It erupted again last month spewing hot ash and pyroclastic lava flows all around it and claimed nearly 194 lives along its path. Mt. Merapi's recent volcanic activity has affected affecting more than 100,000 people living in its slopes specifically in the City of Yogyakarta. This time, people have started fleeing this once peaceful university city as inhabitants scramble for any kind of transportation just to escape this town.
Aside from Merapi, Indonesia’s other 21 active volcanoes has shown rumblings recently. A government volcanologist noted that these other volcanoes has increased seismic activities since September 2, 2010.
Mt. Bulusan (Philippines)
Latest activity: November 6, 2010
Not to be outdone in terms of number of volcanoes is the Philippines archipelago with over 23 active volcanoes and one of them is
Mt. Bulusan. Other well-known eruptions in recent times include that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, which was deemed to be the 2nd largest in the 20th century. Another is the Mayon volcano, Taal Volcano and Canlaon.
Mt. Bulusan shoots fine ash from its crater since it started registering activity last November 6. The volcano erupted only 16 times with the last one being in 2006. Residents living in the slopes have been evacuated.
Video Credit: Ten News
Taal Volcano, Philippines
Mt. Bulusan shoots fine ash from its crater since it started registering activity in November 2011. The volcano erupted only 16 times with the last one being in 2006. Residents living in the slopes have been evacuated.
Earthquakes has struck the different part of the country recently, the last once recorded at 6:30PM of Nov. 11 hit Olongapo city measuring 5.2 though no damage or casualty has been reported.
video credit: irosinlabuyo (YouTube)
On November 21, 2010 (Sunday) Mt. Bulusan once again shoot plumes of ash two kilometers from the summit and recorded 33 volcanic earthquakes during the 24-hour period. This is considered as the strongest since the volcano commenced volcanic activity. Philvocs maintained the Alert Level No. 1 enforced since Nov. 6 and warned the public not to go anywhere near the 4km-dangerous zone. The government agency likewise issues another warning to residents to watch out for ash falls and stream flows. The latest activity affected three towns of Sorsogon and over a thousand residents were evacuated anew due to Mt. Bulusan's recent activity.
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