November 28, 2012 – Mount Pinatubo 20 Years After the Blast: “Hell’s mouth” has become heavenly over the last 20 years. Pictured above, The caldera lake of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.
When Mount Pinatubo erupted in June 1991, it spewed out more than 5 cubic kilometers, or 1.2 cubic miles, of magma and sent an ash cloud 35 kilometers, or 22 miles, into the air. It was the second largest eruption of the 20th century, exceeded only by the 1912 eruption of Mount Novarupta in Alaska.
Today, more than 3,000 tourists a month climb the volcano, whether to swim in its gemlike caldera lake or simply enjoy its beauty.
The historic town of Capas, in Tarlac Province, around 100 kilometers from Manila, is Pinatubo’s best-known gateway. (Pinatubo also is accessible from two other provinces, but the Zambales route takes 16 hours and the Pampanga trail does not reach the lakefront.)
“Pinatubo is part of our history. People should explore and experience the beauty,” said Mailyn Dizon of the Capas Municipal Tourism office.
From the Santa Juliana section of Capas, tourists follow a 25-kilometer trail to the crater of the 1,486-meter, or 4,875-foot, high volcano. When tours began in 1999, a ride in a jeepney, the army-jeep-turned-minibus that is ubiquitous in the Philippines, was followed by a six-hour hike to the summit. Click the link below for the complete story.
The Master of Disaster