Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Alert Level 2 up over Kanlaon as Phivolcs records consecutive quakes

Mayon Volcano is an active stratovolcano in the province of Albay in Bicol Region on the island of Luzon in the Philippines Mayon Volcano is an active stratovolcano in the province of Albay in Bicol Region on the island of Luzon in the Philippines
Melinda Barton | 14 January, 2018, 20:52

This, as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised Mayon Volcano's alert to level 2 on Sunday dawn.

But just within 24 hours of raising Alert Level 2 over Mayon, Phivolcs announced around 9 p.m. Sunday that the volcano was already placed under Alert Level 3.

However, he said, the heavy rains have made it hard for them to collect data.

"Probable intrusion of magma at depth may or may not lead to a magmatic eruption", Phivolcs said. It was followed by rumbling sounds and a faint glow in the crater, Phivolcs said.

PHIVOLCS said traces of ash fell on Barangay Anoling in Daraga, Barangays Sua, Quirangay, Tumpa, Ilawod, Salugan of Camalig, and Barangays Tandarora, Maninila, and Travesia in Guinobatan.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Spokesperson Romina Marasigan said most of the 919 families evacuated were temporarily sheltered at schools in Camalig and Guinobatan.

Mayon last erupted in 2014, with lava flows forcing thousands of people to evacuate.

Given the increasing danger, officials have recommended that a "danger zone" of a 7km radius be enforced "due to the danger of rockfalls, landslides and sudden explosions or dome collapses that may generate hazardous volcanic flows".

Mayon's most destructive eruption occurred in February, 1841 where lava flows buried a town leaving 1,200 people dead.

On May 7, 2013, the volcano suddenly spewed ash, killing five climbers, including three Germans, who had ventured near the summit despite warnings of possible danger.

Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said the volcano may be due for an eruption as it had been displaying abnormal behaviour for several month. In case of ash fall events, which are most likely to affect communities on the western and southwestern flanks downwind of Mayon's crater, people should cover their nose and mouth with damp, clean cloth or dust mask.

Daraga town mayor Gerry Jaucian also ordered residents and the public to refrain from engaging in any human activity within the volcano's six-kilometer permanent danger zone.

"We call on the people directly affected by the eruption of Mt Mayon to cooperate with their respective LGUs (local government units) in order for us to avoid injuries or casualties", Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.