Global Geological And Climatic Events

‘Cold Lava’ Rivers flow in Philippines after Mount Canlaon eruption


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mount Canlaon, Cold Lava Mudflows

Why in the News?

  • After Mount Canlaon erupted in the Philippines, cold lava started flowing through streets and rivers.
    • It was followed by ashfall, and dangers like floods and mudflows downstream.

What is Cold Lava?

  • Cold lava, also known as “lahar,” is a mixture of water and rock fragments that flows rapidly down the slopes of a volcano, often triggered by heavy rainfall or volcanic eruptions.
  • The mixture forms a concrete-like substance that destroys everything in its path.
  • This can also include smooth, glassy textures or rough and jagged textures.

Another example of cold Lava in the world

  • Mount Merapi, Indonesia (2023): An eruption of Mount Merapi resulted in the deaths of at least 23 climbers and spewed ash up to 3,000 meters into the air, covering towns and villages

How harmful is Cold Lava?

  • Rain can carry cold lava down the slopes of a volcano during an eruption and into the path of nearby towns or villages.
  • According to the United States Geological Survey, cold lava has the power to crush and bury things in its path.
  • It also moves quickly like wet concrete and is considered more destructive than hot lava.

About Mount Canlaon

  • Mount Canlaon, located in the Philippines, is an active stratovolcano known for its frequent eruptions and volcanic activity.
  • It is situated on the island of Negros in the Visayas region of the Philippines.
  • It is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, known for its high volcanic activity.
  • It poses hazards such as ash fall, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars (mudflows) that can endanger nearby communities and agriculture.



[2021] Discuss about the vulnerability of India to earthquake-related hazards. Give examples including the salient features of major disasters caused by earthquakes in different parts of India during the last three decades.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch