Mayon’s edifice might collapse with more lava flows: Phivolcs

MANILA — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned on Monday that a “hazardous eruption” might occur in the coming days, when the Mayon Volcano’s cone-shaped portion, called edifice, might partially collapse with more intense lava flows.

Phivolcs science research specialist Eric Arconado said part of Mayon’s edifice might collapse during a hazardous eruption.

More intense ash fall, lava flows, and other volcanic activities can be expected during such eruption, Arconado said.

“Pyroclastic flow can extend beyond Mayon’s danger zone and reach lower levels of this volcano,” he added.

Volcanic activities in Mayon escalated late Monday morning, prompting Phivolcs to raise the alert level in the area to No. 4.

Alert level 4 indicates hazardous eruption, which has become imminent due to “intense unrest” there, noted Phivolcs.

“Mayon Volcano in Albay province has been exhibiting increased seismic unrest, lava fountaining, and summit explosions,” Phivolcs said in a bulletin released Monday afternoon, explaining the need to raise the alert level there.

As a precaution, Phivolcs extended the coverage of Mayon Volcano’s danger zone.

The danger zone already covers an 8-kilometer radius, measured from Mayon’s summit vent, Phivolcs science research specialist Ronald Pigtain said.

“People in the danger zone must evacuate to safer ground as soon as possible,” he warned, urging the people to avoid entering the danger zone.

Earlier, Phivolcs volcanologist Paul Alanis cautioned about pyroclastic flows, warning these occur when the cocktail of hot gases and materials that the volcano spews cascades along its slopes.

He said pyroclastic flows are fast-moving and already killed people in the past. People can’t outrun and escape pyroclastic flows, he noted.