Sunken Cemetery

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Located in Bonbon, Catarman a huge cross marker has been installed by the Provincial government to mark the community cemetery that sank during the 1871 volcanic holocaust. Years ago, gravestones were visible during low tide. Today, the sunken cemetery has become an interesting diving site.

As history tells about the volcanic activity from 1871 to 1875 in Catarman, on February 16, 1871, earthquakes began to be felt on the island, which increase in severity until April 30 when a volcanic fissure opened up 400 yards southwest of the village of Catarman, northwest of Hibok-Hibok Volcano. Mt. Vulcan was born and continued erupting pouring lava into the sea at the same time gaining in height and width. In 1875, the Challenger expedition visited the area and described the mountain as a dome, 1,950 ft (590 m) in height, without any crater, but still smoking and incandescent at the top.

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The town of Catarman was destroyed and portion of the town sank beneath the sea. The settlement moved to where the town center is presently located and today, all that remains of old Catarman are the ruins of the ancient Spanish church, a convent and a bell tower.

The Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin Island marks the swept remains of the island’s rested locals. Driven underwater when Mt. Vulcan Daan erupted in 1871, the large cross erected in 1982 has served the town’s people, as well as the tourists, a scenic spot to memorialize the departed buried there.

The island of Camiguin is of volcanic origin composed of four stratovolcanoes. To give you an idea what a stratovolcano is, the video below is a documentary about the Krakatoa Volcano in Indonesia which violently erupted in 1883, just a few years after Mt. Vulcan’s eruption.