Lake Lanao

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Lake Lanao, Philippines
Lake Lanao, Philippines - Landsat photo of Lake Lanao
Landsat photo of Lake Lanao
Lake type Rift Lake
Primary outflows Agus River
Basin countries Lanao del Sur, Philippines
Max length 33 km
Max width 20 km
Surface area 340 km²
Average depth 60.3 m
Max depth 112 m
Shore length1 115 km
Surface elevation 700 m
Settlements Lanao del Sur
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Lanao is located in the province of Lanao del Sur and is 701.35 meters above sea level. With a surface area of 354.60 square kilometers, it is the largest lake in Mindanao and the second biggest in the Philippines. The mean depth of the lake is 60 meters but its deepest part is believed to be at 112 meters.



Four rivers feed the lake and its only outlet is the Agus River, which flows southwest into Iligan Bay through two channels: one over the Maria Cristina Falls and the other over Linamon Falls. Hydroelectric power plants in the area generate seventy percent of the electricity used by the residents of Mindanao.


According to local legends, a group of angels led by Archangel Diabarail (Angel Gabriel) requested Allah to balance the place when the sultanate of Mantapoli in Sebangan (East) flourished and the other in Sedpan (West) did not. The angels removed the vast population of Mantapoli. The hole that was left was filled with water that was supposed to drown the rest of the world. But through the help of the Four Winds, an outlet was gashed to make way for the water out of the hole that was already filled. The hole became Lake Lanao and the outlet became the Agus River.


Lake Lanao is home to 18 closely related species of freshwater fish called a “species flock”. All 18 species are thought to have evolved from the spotted barb. The lake is also home to 41 endemic freshwater crab species. In 2006, through a study conducted by the Mindanao State University, it was discovered that the lake was contaminated due to poor sewage and agricultural management. According to the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the cause of the algae contamination is soil erosion brought about by indiscriminate logging and extensive land use and farming.




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