- Estimated Date: June 15, 1991
- Location: Philippines
- VEI Rating: 7
The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo is one of the few major eruptions to take place within most of our lifetimes. While this volcano might be found in the Philippines, the eruption at Pinatubo was felt worldwide. We know today that the eruption was the second largest in the 20th century too. You’d be forgiven if you thought the end of the world was near. As this eruption was taking place, Typhoon Yunya threw a monkey wrench into everything. This brought a lethal level of ash and rain into cities surrounding the volcano. It resulted in tens of thousands of people evacuating the territory. Thousands of lives were saved through this, but 350 people died.
Nearby territories were severely damaged from the pyroclastic surges and falls. The flooding lahars caused by rainwater only helped to remobilize earlier volcanic deposits. River systems were massively damaged due to this for several years as a result. Roughly 10 billion metric tons of magma and 20 million metric tons of sulfur dioxide came out of this eruption, which brought toxic metals and minerals into the surface environment and into the stratosphere. For months, aerosols formed a global layer of sulfuric acid haze, and temperatures dropped worldwide by at least a degree Fahrenheit from 1991 to 1993. Along with heavy ozone depletion.