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Dangerous Mount Pinatubo

Run for your lives! Its erupting! There was mass chaos as people were screaming and running in all directions as all Hell broke loose. Fear was written all over their faces That happened about 19 years ago. During June 1991, a major volcanic eruption took place on the island of Luzon, Philippines, Asia from Mount Pinatubo. Mount Pinatubo was formed by the Philippine mobile belt sliding over the Eurasian plate along the Manila trench to the west. There was no local knowledge of the previous large eruptions in the Pinatubo area although small steam explosions were known to the locals to be quite common. On the day of the eruption, there was a boy named Ali. Ali went to the forest to live since he was born in 1980 due to the Spanish Conquest of the Philippines which started in 1565. He led a peaceful life with the Aeta, the people who live in the

dense forest. He was collecting water when suddenly he felt some vibrations on the ground. This did not really matter much to him as it was quite frequent to feel vibrations. So, he continued collecting water and when back to his shelter. The tribe leaders were doing a meeting, and they seemed to have sad faces. They talked something about danger and death. Ali felt very curious but decided not to interfere as a sign of respect. Suddenly, there was a loud boom. He turned around and saw a cloud of smoke spewing out of the crater of the volcanoes. All the villagers were running away from the volcano. Alis parents came out from their shelter and grabbed Ali and ran away together with the villagers. What is happening? Young Ali asked innocently to his parents. The gods are angry! said his parents, running away as fast as they could from the lava which was flowing down the volcano.

Ali turned behind and saw the lava rapidly destroying the forest which he once lived in and was as dear to him as his life. Crying sadly, he saw one of his best friends running too slowly and getting burned to death by the hot lava.

Running away from the volcano, he cried in anguish and escaped to a city 5 kilometres away. On that day he read on the newspaper at a newsstand that the horrible volcanic eruption had killed over 5 thousand of the villagers unable to escape in time. He was so sad that he knelt down beside the newsstand and cried bitterly.

Over the years, he lived in the city which had become his new home as his village had been completely razed to the ground. The lava caused the destructions of buildings and roads, caused fires as it flowed through peoples homes, and also caused the destruction of land used for farming and the lost of livelihood for the farmers living near mount Pinatubo. The volcanic eruption released a bulk of ash which also affected the city which he was living in, even though the city was not destroyed by the lava. The ash caused breathing difficulties, skin diseases, diarrhoea and serious eye infections.

After the volcanic eruption, Ali read on the news that there were already farmers returning to the foot of the volcano as the soil were more fertile due to the minerals in the volcanic ash. There were more tourists due to the spectacular scenery of Mount Pinatubo and helped villagers to earn money from providing services such as conducting guided tours or trekking trips up the volcano. Over the years, technology has improved greatly and the government of Philippines has made use of the technology to foretell when the next eruption will happen. They also use machines to create different paths for the lava to flow into the sea and avoiding the villages and cities near the volcano. They also build flood control walls to prevent the mudflow formed from the build-up of ash and other rocks from burying villages and cities. Nowadays, Ali works as a tour guide to earn money and support his family and leads a happy life but hell never forget the terrible destruction during his childhood life.

Now children, do YOU know the effects of volcanoes? Do not take things for granted even though you are safe from volcanoes and not forget danger of volcanoes.

References: Wikipedia/Mount Pinatubo: ory Earth our Home, second edition, page 88, 89, 90, 91

Done by: Lee Jun Lei, Benjamin Lee, Marcus Lee ,Azeem & Thong Jing Yuan(1A)