UP scientist Mahar Lagmay’s animated infographics tackle Taal Volcano eruption facts

HSBC Philippines
UP scientist Mahar Lagmay
Screengrab of Mahar Lagmay’s animated infographics which explain scientific terms used to describe the Taal Volcano eruption of January 12, 2020.

University of the Philippines (UP) scientist Mahar Lagmay posted on social media his animated infographics about the Taal Volcano, after its eruption on January 12, 2020, spawned confusion about various scientific terms used to explain the event.

Lagmay, a volcanologist with a Ph.D from the University of Cambridge, has been interviewed in several news programs following the Taal Volcano eruption. He has so far posted 12 animated infographics on Facebook and Twitter from January 17 to January 27.

In the netizen-friendly animations, handrawn using an iPad Pro, the UP Resilience Institute chief explained in layman’s terms about phreatic eruption, phreato-magmatic eruption, magmatic eruption, Volcanic Explosivity Index, Base Surge, Macolod Corridor, Pyroclastic Fall or Ash Fall Hazard, Pyroclastic Flow, lava, debris avalanche, Volcanic Tsunami, and Volcanic Ballistic Projectiles.

Dr. Lagmay, director of UP Project NOAH, illustrated and identified volcanic terms in easy step-by-step presentations. He also encouraged netizens, whom he referred to as students of Facebook University and of Twitter University, to do further readings and to send in their questions for further clarification.

GoodNewsPilipinas.com asked Dr. Mahar Lagmay, a geologist, disaster scientist, and professor at the National Institute of Geological Sciences in the College of Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman, about the intent of the release of the animated infographics.

“There are lots of terms being discussed which need to be understood. Many are visual learners so we merged Science, Art and Technology to get people to understand. It is for educational purposes so that people will know and appreciate better matters of concern that affect their lives,” shared Dr. Lagmay who is listed on Twitter’s 100 Top Scientists.

Asked about the source of the content of the infographics, Lagmay said that he made them derived from the synthesis of literature on the topic and that he sometimes consults with a volcanologist with a masters degree from Magmas et Volcans, University of Auvergne, France.

Here are the 12 Taal Volcano Animated Infographics by UPRI’s Mahar Lagmay:

PHREATIC ERUPTION

PHREATO-MAGMATIC ERUPTION

MAGMATIC ERUPTION

VOLCANIC EXPLOSIVITY INDEX

BASE SURGE

MACOLOD CORRIDOR

PYROCLASTIC FALL OR ASH FALL HAZARD

PYROCLASTIC FLOW

LAVA

DEBRIS AVALANCHE

VOLCANIC TSUNAMI

VOLCANIC BALLISTIC PROJECTILES

Mahar Lagmay is the executive director of UP Resilience Institute, the office that coordinates UP system-wide efforts for effective Climate Change Adaptation & Disaster Risk Reduction as well as relief efforts for affected communities.

Lagmay was also a chief initiator of the initiative to pool the premier state university’s experts to develop the Philippine capital of Manila into a disaster-resilient city.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Mahar Lagmay and the UP Resilience Institute for making science understandable to netizens on Facebook and Twitter!

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Aurora Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.