Mayon Volcano’s alert status raised to level 3

MANILA — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised Mayon Volcano’s alert status from level 2 to level 3 on Sunday evening.

Alert level 2 means “increasing unrest” while level 3 signifies “increased tendency towards hazardous eruption”.

Phivolcs said that for the past 24 hours, Mayon Volcano has noticeably increased its unrest. Three phreatic (steam driven) eruptions and 158 rockfall events have been recorded between January 13, 4:21 p.m. and January 14, 7:25 p.m.

“The Mayon Volcano is exhibiting relatively high unrest, and that magma is at the crater,” the agency said, noting that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or days.

Mayon’s summit crater is exhibiting bright crater glow which indicates growth of a new lava dome and beginning of lava flow towards the southern slopes.

Phivolcs recommends that the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and a 7-kilometer Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) be observed due to the danger of rockfalls, landslides and sudden explosions or dome collapse that may generate hazardous volcanic flows.

The public and local government authorities are also warned against pyroclastic density currents, lahars and sediment-laden streamflows along channels draining the edifice.

Likewise, Phivolcs also advised the Civil Aviation authorities to tell pilots to avoid flying close to the vocano’s summit since ash from sudden eruption may be hazardous to the aircraft.

“Ash fall events may most likely occur on the southwest side of the volcano based on the seasonal wind pattern,” Phivolcs said. Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA