Today in Philippine History, January 30, 1911, Taal Volcano erupted killing approximately 1,500 people

Saturday January 12, 2013 ()

On January 30, 1911, Taal Volcano erupted killing approximately 1,500 people and millions of pesos worth of damage was wrought. Post mortem examination of the victims seemed to show that practically all had died of scalding by hot steam or hot mud, or both.

Taal Volcano
(Taal Volcano in 2010. View from Picnic Grove Tagaytay (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons))

A huge fan-shaped cloud of what looked like a black smoke rose to a great height estimated at about a mile. It crossed and cris-crossed with a brilliant electrical display. This cloud finally shot up that marked the culmination of the eruption around 2 in the morning of January 30.

Every living thing on the volcano island, with the possible exception of a rooster, was destroyed. One young woman survived about 24 hours before succumbing to her injuries.

All the vegetation was bent downward away from the crater which indicated that there must have been a very strong blast down the outside slopes of the cone. Very little vegetation was actually burned or even scorched. No evidences of lava could be descovered anywhere, nor have geologists been able to find any traceable records of lava flow. In this respect the Taal volcano is unique. Another peculiarity of the geologic aspects of the volcano is the fact that no sulphur had been found on the volcano.

According to scientists, the island on which Taal is situated sank from three to ten feet as a result of the eruption. This claim has been disputed by laymen, but subsequent investigations have established it to be true. It has also been found that the southern shore of Lake Taal sank in elevation as a result of the eruption. The course of the Pansipit river, the only outlet of the lake, at its southern shore, was considerably changed.

Reference:
American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Journal, Volume 2, Number 9, September 1922.


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