Japan Just Detected a Small Eruption in Mount Pinatubo

PHIVOLCS advised people to avoid entering the crater lake.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) announced on Tuesday (November 30) that a "weak explosion" was detected in Mt. Pinatubo. The agency was alerted by Japan's Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, which monitors volcanic activity in the Asia-Pacific region. 

According to the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, the eruption that produced a small ash plume was detected at 12:03 p.m. and 12:13 p.m.

But Phivolcs could not immediately pinpoint the source of the ash plume. It advised people to stay away from the volcano especially its crater lake until further notice. 

"Local government units are advised to prohibit entry into Pinatubo Crater until the source of the above explosion has been determined and to report to us any related information," Phivolcs said in a statement. 

Mt. Pinatubo severely crippled surrounding provinces when it erupted in 1991, with Pampanga bearing the brunt of its destruction. Towns were buried in feet of volcanic ash. Days after the cataclysmic eruption, a powerful typhoon swept Central Luzon, sending lahar to the lowlands killing more people than the eruption itself. 

Mt. Pinatubo’s 1991 eruption was so powerful, it sent ash so high up in the atmosphere that it partially blocked sunlight and cooled global temperatures by 0.6 degrees Celsius. Ashfall occurred in countries as far as Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Regional Ash Fallout from Mt Pinatubo's 1991 Eruption

Photo by Public Domain.

Back in January 2021, at least 826 earthquakes were detected around Mt. Pinatubo.

Although Pinatubo’s 1991 eruption was the strongest in the 20th century, it was also a textbook example of the best practices in predicting a volcanic eruption, resulting in the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

Mt. Pinatubo's 1991 Eruption

Photo by United States Geological Survey.

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