Lifestyle & Belief

2002 Bali bombing survivor escapes death in a fatal volcano eruption in Philippines


Volcano Mt Mayon spews a thick column of ash 1,600 feet into the air, as seen from the city of Legazpi, albay province, southeast of Manila on May 7, 2013.


Charism Sayat

An Australian man who survived the 2002 Bali bombings has escaped death in a fatal volcano eruption in the Philippines.

Ewan Marshall of Perth in the state of Western Australia was climbing Mt Mayon with his girlfriend Michelle Abad when lava started flowing, the Fairfax media reported.

The eruption also flung huge rocks into the air that killed five people.

Those killed were among a group of 20 foreign tourists climbing the mountain in the central Philippines province of Bicol when it erupted.

They were identified as four German tourists and their Filipino tour guide, the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) said in a statement.

The group was about a mile from Mayon's crater when the eruption occurred, spewed a thick column of ash 350 miles into the air.

Two helicopters were been sent to the top of the volcano to rescue the surviving tourists.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation cited Marshall as saying that he was half way up the 8,070-foot volcano when it erupted.

He reportedly said:

"It was a very loud sound, louder than thunder, or like a bomb going off, it's hard to describe... I knew straight away it was an eruption."

Mayon, about 200 miles southeast of Manila, is the largest of the Philippines' 22 active volcanoes and has erupted 48 times in recorded history.

In 1814, more than 1,200 people in the town of Cagsawa were killed by lava flows.

The ABC cited volcanologists as saying that steam explosions occurred regularly and they did not expect another major eruption following Tuesday's event.

Marshall was in Kuta, the resort on the Indonesian of Bali, when it was rocked by two nightclub bombings in October 2002.

The attack, by Al Qaeda linked militants, killed 202 people, 88 of them Australian.

Marshall said that he could still see lava running down the side of Mt Mayon as he drove to the airport bound for Boracay Island in the Philippines, where he and Abad planned to snorkel and scuba dive.

He said neither the eruption nor the Bali bombings had curbed his enthusiasm for adventurous.