What Happened After Mount Pinatubo Erupted?


Quick Answer

The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 was the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. The eruption released a huge volume of volcanic ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. This caused the planet to experience a global cooling in the following year and temperatures to decrease significantly.

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What Happened After Mount Pinatubo Erupted?
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Full Answer

Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, killing hundreds of people. It is considered to be the second largest volcanic eruption in recent history. Even though lives were lost, thousands of lives were saved due to the evacuation efforts in the areas surrounding the volcano. However, the eruption did have some lasting effects, many of which can still be seen even today.

Several tons of ash and sulfur dioxide were released during the eruption. The larger ash particles fell on buildings and caused them to collapse due to the sheer weight. The finer particles of ash remained suspended in the atmosphere and quickly spread around the planet, blocking some amount of solar energy reaching the surface. This caused temperatures worldwide to decrease by 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall patterns were also affected globally due to the change in weather.

The pyroclastic flows during the eruption destroyed everything in their path, and the deposits left behind remained insulated, retaining their heat for more than five years after the explosion. These deposits also caused landslide and mudflow hazards during the monsoon season. As a result, several thousand people were displaced from their homes and many of them are still living in resettlement camps as of 2014. The mudflows remain a danger to some farms, and the fields that were covered by these flows will not be usable for a number of years.

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