Even more terrible was the eruption of Mount Salek, another of the volcanoes of Java. The burning of the mountain was seen 100 miles away, while the thunders of its convulsions and the tremblings of the earth reached the same distance. Seven hills, at whose base ran a river—crowded with dead buffaloes, deer, apes, tigers, and crocodiles—slipped down and became a level plain. River-courses were changed, forests were burnt up, and the whole face of the country was completely altered.
Later volcanic eruptions in Java include that of 1843, when Mount Guntur flung out sand and ashes estimated at the vast total of thirty million tons, and those of 1849 and 1872 when Mount Merapi, a very active volcano, covered a great extent of country with stones and ashes, and ruined the coffee plantations of the neighboring districts.
We have said nothing concerning the most terrible explosion of all, that of the volcanic island of Krakatoa, off the Javan coast. This event was so phenomenal as to deserve a chapter of its own, for which we reserve it.
The United States, as one result of its recent acquisition of island dominions, has added largely to its wealth in volcanic mountains. The famous Hawaiian craters, far the greatest in the world, now belong to our national estate, and the Philippine Islands contain various others, of less importance, yet some of which have proved very destructive. A description of those of the Island of Luzon, which are the most active in the archipelago, is here sub-joined.
Volcanoes have played an important part in the formation of the Philippine Islands and have left traces of their former activity in all directions. Most of them, however, have long been dead and silent, only a few of the once numerous group being now active. Of these there are three of importance in the southern region of Luzon—Taal, Bulusan and Mayon or Albay.
The last named of these is the largest and most active of the existing volcanoes. In form it is of marvellous grace and beauty, forming a perfect cone, about fifty miles in circuit at base and rising to a height of 8,900 feet. It is one of the most prominent landmarks to navigators in the island. From its crater streams upward a constant smoke, accompanied at times by flame, while from its depths issue subterranean sounds, often heard at a distance of many leagues. The whole surrounding country is marked by evidences of old eruptions.
This mountain, in 1767, sent up a cone of flame of forty feet in diameter at base, for ten days, and for two months a wide stream of lava poured from its crater. A month later there gushed forth great floods of water, which filled the rivers to overflow, doing widespread damage to the neighboring plantations. But its greatest and most destructive eruption took place in 1812, the year of the great eruption of the