Skip to main content

Five climbers killed after deadly volcanic ash blast

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
updated 7:05 AM EDT, Tue May 7, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Five climbers killed during ash explosion on volcano in Philippines
  • Blast send thick column of ash 500 meters (1,600 feet) into the air
  • Mount Mayon is the most volatile of more than 50 volcanoes in the Philippines

Editor's note: Are you there? Send us your photos and videos, but please stay safe.

(CNN) -- Five people have been killed after one of the Philippines' most active volcanoes spewed a giant cloud of ash and rocks early Tuesday.

They were climbing on Mount Mayon, some 212 miles (340 km) southeast of Manila, when the blast occurred at around 8 a.m. local time, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Of the five fatalities, four were German tourists, while the other was identified as Jerome Berin, their Filipino guide, the NDRRMC said. Joey Salceda, governor of Albay Province, told CNN affiliate ABS-CBN they were killed after being hit by falling rocks. He said they were part of a larger group scaling the volcano. Seven others, including an Australian, were hurt.

Filipino iReporter Recamunda lives less than two kilometers from the volatile Mount Mayon volcano, which spewed ash and rocks early Tuesday, killing five climbers. When he saw smoke and ash belching from the volcano, one of the most active in the Philippines, he grabbed his camera and took these shots. "I live very close but we're used to eruptions," he says, "we're only affected by the ash cloud". Filipino iReporter Recamunda lives less than two kilometers from the volatile Mount Mayon volcano, which spewed ash and rocks early Tuesday, killing five climbers. When he saw smoke and ash belching from the volcano, one of the most active in the Philippines, he grabbed his camera and took these shots. "I live very close but we're used to eruptions," he says, "we're only affected by the ash cloud".
Mayon volcano erruptions
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Mayon volcano erruptions Mayon volcano erruptions

The NDRRMC said a total of 27 hikers were on the volcano at the time and requested assistance.

iReport: Volcano sends ash soaring into sky

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the blast sent a thick column of ash 500 meters (1,600 feet) into the air -- the result of what it called a "small phreatic event" that lasted about 73 seconds.

While no intensification of volcanic activity was observed, it warned that these sudden ash and steam explosions could occur at any time. Therefore officials advised people against going inside a six-kilometer danger zone around the volcano.

Mount Mayon is the most volatile of more than 50 volcanoes -- 22 of which are considered active -- that are scattered across the Philippine archipelago.

An almost perfect cone shape, Mayon last erupted in 2010 and forced thousands of people to flee from their homes. Mayon's slopes, like many volcanoes in the country, are home to thousands of farming communities who make use of the fertile soils provided by the volcanic activity despite the occasional risk of eruption.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:02 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 3:21 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Wed October 15, 2014
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
updated 1:57 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT