Mayon Recorded Eruptions

Mayon has had forty-nine eruptions in recorded history. The first recorded major eruption was in 1616, the weakest eruption ceased on October 1, 2006, although a lahar followed on November 30, 2006. A further summit eruption occurred on August 10, 2008. The volcano is weakly erupting now and may be building up to a large eruption.

The most destructive eruption of Mayon occurred on February 1, 1814. Lava flowed but not as much compared to the 1766 eruption. Instead, the volcano was belching dark ash and eventually bombarding the town with tephra that buried the town of Cagsawa—only the bell tower of the town's church remained above the new surface. Trees were burned; rivers were certainly damaged. Proximate areas were also devastated by the eruption with ash accumulating to 9 m (30 ft) in depth. 2,200 Albay locals perished in what is considered to be the most lethal eruption in Mayon's history.

Mayon Volcano's longest uninterrupted eruption occurred on June 23, 1897 which lasted for seven days of raining fire. Lava once again flowed down to civilization. Seven miles eastward, the village of Bacacay was buried 15 m (49 ft) beneath the lava. In Libon 100 people were declared dead—incinerated by steam and falling debris or hot rocks. Other villages like San Roque, Misericordia and Santo NiƱo became deathtraps. Ash was carried in black clouds as far as 160 km (100 mi) from the catastrophic event. More than 400 people were killed.

Samuel Kneeland, a professor and a geologist had observed the volcanic activity five months before the eruption. Kneeland was amazed with the beauty of Mayon:
At night the scene was truly magnificent and unique. At the date of my visit the volcano had poured out...a stream of lava on the Legaspi side from the very summit. The viscid mass bubbled quietly but grandly, and overran the border of the crater, descending several hundred feet in a glowing wave, like red-hot iron. Gradually, fading as the upper surface cooled, it changed to a thousand sparkling rills among the crevices, and, as it passed beyond the line of complete vision behind the woods near the base, the fires twinkled like stars, or the scintillions of a dying conflagration. More than half of the mountain height was thus illuminated.
No casualties were recorded from the 1984 eruption after more than 73,000 people were evacuated from the danger zones as recommended by PHILVOCS scientists.

Pyroclastic flows killed 77 people, mainly farmers, in Mayon’s fatal eruption of 1993.

Photo Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Source: Wikipedia