Phivolcs raises volcano alert, warns of hazardous eruptions

Lester Mason
January 14, 2018

Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office chief, said residents from communities within a six-kilometer zone around the volcano's crater have been ordered evacuated, including parts of Guinobatan, Ligao City, Camalig and Daraga.

"It is hard today for us to collect data, especially ashes because of heavy rains", Daep said.

Saturday's eruption unleashed ash, rocks and sulfuric odor, and was followed by rumbling sounds and a faint glow in the crater, according to Phivolcs.

On Saturday, the institute reported the famous volcano "generated a phreatic eruption (steam-driven) that propelled a grayish steam and ash plume approximately 2,500 meters high that was drifted to the southwest". Anoling, Camalig. Since the eruption, rockfall events have been intermittently recorded and are continuing as of the time of the release of this bulletin. This indicates pressurization of the edifice by rising magma or its perturbation of Mayon's subsurface hydrothermal system.

The raising of the alert level means the current volcanic activity could be of "magmatic origin, which could lead to more phreatic eruptions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruptions".

The lowest level one alert has been issued, meaning people are not allowed to stay within a six-kilometre "permanent danger zone", Phivolcs said. The institute advised people near ashfall to cover their noses and mouths with a damp, clean cloth or dust mask.

It also asked civil aviation authorities to advise pilots from flying close to the volcano's summit, "as ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft".

A few hours after Phivolcs raised the alert level, the volcano erupted anew at 8:49 a.m. on Sunday, lasting for about five minutes.

Its last eruption came in 2014 when thousands were forced to evacuate.

The volcano has seen a "slight swelling" since October and November 2017, Phivolcs said.

The displaced residents have taken shelter in schools turned into evacuation centres, Gomez said.

"We have not reached the critical level", he said in a radio interview.

It killed 1,200 people in February 1841 when lava flows buried a town.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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