Pinatubo Erupts

I’m reblogging this post by Alex Selwyn – Holmes’ Iconic Photos. Check out his/ her blogsite.

Iconic Photos


In March 1991, when a series of earthquakes hit the western side of the island of Luzon along the Zambales Mountains, locals awoke to the reality that in the middle of the Zambales range, there might be a dormant volcano. Pinatubo — quiet since before the lands under it were named the Philippines — erupted a few months later, in June.

The explosion was to be the second largest of the 20th century (second only to that of Novarupta in Alaska in 1912). Unlike the Alaskan volcano, half a million people lived next to Pinatubo and several important river systems stem from its peak. A logistical and environmental nightmare loomed. Adding to the woes, a typhoon was ripped through the island, mixing Pinatubo’s ash with rains, which created concrete-like mud that collapsed roofs and buildings miles away.

Many photojournalists came to the area, and the most iconic shot of the explosion —…

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15 responses to this post.

  1. WOW! Frightening~


    • Mom said it erupted in the morning, by 12 noon when sunlight is at its brightest, Manila , (which is about 100 miles from the eruption site) turned pitchblack, and by 3 or 4 PM, was blanketed by ash.


  2. Posted by The Otaku Judge on September 30, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    What an amazing photo. No wonder it won an award and caught the attention of National Geographic.


    • According to my mom, it felt like it was the end of the world…. pitchblack at 12 noon….. and our house was about 100 miles from the eruption. The next day, their place in Manila was covered with grayish-white ash about 1 inch thick.


      • I can imagine how scared was your mom. Did people get evacuated?


        • Rumblings were felt 3 months before the volcano erupted. Good thing the Philippines had very competent volcanologists ( the Philippines belongs to so-called ” Ring of Fire ” ) and they were able to warn the people the volcano would erupt soon and they did evacuate just before. However, they did not expect eruption would be that huge. The plume of smoke/ashes reached the stratosphere, the only one that did that. By the way, the ashes reached Singapore, and euption caused the temperature to drop to 1/2 of degree Celsius, worldwide.


          • Incredible! But no surprise with all this thick cloud. Sorry for the animals who didn’t have a chance to run away.
            Oh you do have to have the best seismologists. In your part of the world it is vital.


  3. wow! look at all the smoke. its beautiful and yet so scary at the same time!


  4. I remember that, yes ashes everywhere. I think we were dismissed early from work.


  5. […] via Pinatubo Erupts — renxkyoko’s space […]


  6. I remember this so well. I was in the Navy at the time, and was stationed on a hospital ship in the Gulf War. After the war, we stopped at Singapore then Olongapo on the way back to California in the beginning of April 1991. When we got back to California, I took a month’s long vacation. After I got back, the volcano erupted, and there was talk about us being sent back out over there. But, it didn’t happen. I felt so bad. I hope everybody I met there are OK. I worked in the food storeroom on the ship, and I worked closely with some local people who helped bring supplies on the ship.


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