In the past week, Mayon volcano in Albay, Bicol has been making headlines – spewing ash, making rumbling noises, spilling trickles of lava down to its foothills. [firstpara] The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has put it on alert level 4, meaning the volcano can erupt any day now.
The next—last—level is hoisted when the volcano is already erupting. Celebrating the holidays, we have to ask, why does Mayon have terrible timing as LBM on a first date? It seems, when you gotta go, you gotta go.
And, judging from Mayon’s activities the past week and a half, it’s ready to go. So arm yourself against the Big Boom by educating yourself about these explosive mountains.
Apart from the fact that it’s about to blow, why all the fuss about Mayon? Why do tourists flock to it?
Mayon is known all over the world as the perfect cone-shaped volcano, that’s why. It’s symmetrically beautiful, as far as geological formations go.
Mayon is the standout landmark of Albay province in Bicol. In fact, last year, the volcano made it to the Philippines’ top 10 entries to the new seven wonders of the world list. Mayon juts up 2,463 meters high.
Why do volcanoes stand where they are?
The blueprint for volcanoes are the tectonic plates or pieces of earth crust (a.k.a. earth’s surface, lithosphere). There are eight major plates and many minor ones. These plates converge or collide, pushed by heat coming from the earth’s core.
When these plates come together or pull apart, they sometimes form a volcano above the surface of the earth. The Philippines belongs to the Pacific Ring of Fire – a 40,000-km horseshoe shaped “ring” encompassing at least nine countries, carrying over 75 percent of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes, and located over an area of the earth that has nearly continuous plate movements.
WORDS BY CECILE JUSI