29 November 2006
On 29 November 2006, Supertyphoon Reming (international name, Durian), with maximum sustained winds of 190 km/hr and gusts as high as 230 km/hr, made landfall on the southeast coast of the Philippine island of Luzon, delivering 495.8 mm of rain over a period of 36 hrs (PAGASA, 2006). Reming’s impact was greatest in Albay Province, where runoff from its rainfall remobilized volcanic debris on the slopes of Mount Mayon into lahars that caused severe loss of life and property in downstream communities. Fatalities totaled 1,266, including 740 people missing and presumed dead (Rabonza, 2006).
In terms of their volumes, runout lengths and devastating effects, the lahars of typhoon Reming are unprecedented in the recent history of Mayon. The closest event generating this magnitude of death and destruction on the lower slopes of Mayon was the 1825 lahar event that caused 1,500 fatalities (Task Group for the International Decade of Natural Disaster Reduction, 1990) and buried the town of Cagsawa, 11 km southeast of the summit, 11 years after one of Mayon’s largest eruptions during the 19th century (Ramos-Villarte et al., 1985). The November 2006 lahars followed a relatively minor effusive episode earlier in the year.
PAGASA. (2006). Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Atmospheric Services Rainfall archive. Data record.
Rabonza, G. (2006). Philippines: NDCC media update-Typhoon Reming (Durian). Technical Report. Office of Civil Defense.
Ramos-Villarte, S., Corpuz, E., and Newhall, C., 1985. Eruptive history of Mayon volcano, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Volcanology, 2, 1–35.