Why this Volcano Eruption in the Philippines May be Especially Deadly

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Heather Brady, is a producer for National Geographic. Her work has been in Slate, U.S. News and World Report, and NPR. She also has a master's degree in journalism from Georgetown University.


Mount Mayon is well known for its perfect steep-sloped cone shape and for being the most active volcano in the Philippines while being located on the island of Luzon and is also located on the Ring of Fire (is a chain of volcanoes that sit alongside the edge of the Pacific Ocean) and has been spewing ash, mud, and rocks since January 13th. In 2006 and 2009, Mount Mayon only oozed out lava from the mouth of the volcano with small explosions, but in 2001, the volcano sent ash spewing six miles into the sky. Mount Mayon has scenic symmetry, making it so that climbers want to try to get to the rim and it is also a tourist attraction. With its steep-sloped cone-shaped, this indicates how frequent this volcano erupts. In 1616 was the first recorded eruption of Mount Mayon's eruption and has erupted about 58 times (Brady, 2018).

In 1814, when Mount Mayon erupted it had sent ash several miles into the sky and killed 1,200 people. Many of these eruptions involved spraying lava that collects at the rim of the volcano. The steep slopes that make Mount Mayon so famous are when it sputters over the top and it builds up over time. For comparison, Mount Vesuvius, which is the volcano located at Gulf of Naples in Italy has erupted over 50 times. This famous eruption had killed 2,000 people and the city of Pompeii was under many tons of volcanic ash; ash raining down and the air is so thick that people could hardly breathe. What makes this the most dangerous of the eruption is the explosive blast that send lava, ash, and volcanic gas raining down onto the sides of the volcano. Mount Mayon could erupt in the same fashion. It is difficult to exactly predict the details of the eruption, but given Mayon's history, a dangerous explosion is a possibility (Brady, 2018).


The article started out by describing what is the most active volcano in the Philippines, which is Mount Mayon. The data provided for this article was facts about Mount Mayon erupting, its history of eruptions and how deadly it is, which killed 1,200 people. I believe that this article provided fantastic information describing the volcano, what happened when it erupted, giving a comparison to another volcano and saying that a dangerous explosion is a possibility. This as a reader raises questions on if an explosion/eruption will happen or not again. If it does happen, how deadly will it be? Will it send ash several miles into the sky killing more people? The article gave several dates for when the eruptions of Mount Mayon occurred, which is beneficial when learning about volcanoes.

The author who wrote this article, Heather Brady, seemed like she had a background on the subject of volcanoes. It helps the article as a whole that she knew about volcanoes and it helps with her credibility. She described what type of volcano Mount Mayon is, being a steep-slope cone shape and knowing another volcano for comparison, Mount Vesuvius. She knew other terms we have learned throughout the class. Ring of Fire and subduction zones are mentioned in this article and it describes what they are helping the reader understand what those terms mean in case they do not know what they are. She has a master's degree in journalism and the article is well written for being a National Geographic article.

The article could be improved greatly if the author included more pictures within the article. She did include a picture of Mount Mayon where huge columns of ash shot up to the sky during an explosion. But, having more pictures can help a reader that learns by visual aide understand what happens and what it looks like. Many people learn different ways. Also, providing a picture of Mount Vesuvius would be beneficial as well, because some people do not know what Mount Vesuvius looks like or what it looks like when it erupts, including me. It would be helpful if she provided a video of the eruptions happening or even volcano safety tips, preparation, and readiness to educate people on what to do if they were near this volcano or any volcano when it erupts.

The article as a whole was attention-grabbing to read and the author had many interesting facts about Mount Mayon and its eruptions. She even put another volcano comparison in the article to help the reader compare the two volcanoes. The way she structured the article was easy to understand and follow. By having the titles of each section bolded, it helped me as a reader and possibly helped other readers know that she was moving on from one topic to another. I feel like I have learned more about different volcanoes and knowing what happened when they erupted. I could use this information about volcanoes to teach my future students.

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Why This Volcano Eruption in the Philippines May Be Especially Deadly. (2019, Dec 18). Retrieved May 24, 2024 , from

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