The lure of the near-perfect cone of Mount Mayon in the Philippines proved deadly for some German tourists and their guide, when the volcano erupted for the first time since 2009.
Mount Mayon is on the island of Luzon. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the eruption was a “small phreatic event”, or steam-driven explosion, that lasted only 73 seconds. But it blasted out ash and “living room sized” rocks that rained down the sides of the mountain, according to tour guide Kenneth Jesalva who was hurt in the blast.
At least 20 people were climbing during Tuesday’s eruption, and the German group and their Philippine guide got the worst of it.
“It was so sudden that many of us panicked,” local residents Jun Marana told reporters. “When we stepped out we saw this huge column against the blue sky.”
There’s a 6-kilometer permanent Danger Zone around the volcano during events. But officials allow climbers to go up Mount Mayon when it appears to be peaceful.