Skip to main content

Five climbers killed after deadly volcanic ash blast

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
May 7, 2013 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
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
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT