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Philippine volcano restive; alert level 2 up

Publication Date : 16-08-2014


The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has raised the alert level over Mayon Volcano from one to two after it showed an evident intrusion of magma that may eventually lead to a larger eruption.

“An intrusion of magma is very evident,” volcanologist Eduardo Laguerta, who is based at Phivolcs’ Lignon Hill Observatory here, told the Inquirer.

A bulletin released by Phivolcs at 2pm on Friday said visual observation showed the growth of a new lava dome, around 30 to 50 metres at the volcano’s summit crater. A lava dome is a pile or mound of lava that grows on the floor of an active crater.

Phivolcs’ instruments also showed a very slight swelling of the middle slopes of the volcano since the May 7, 2013, phreatic or steam-driven explosion of Mayon that caused the death of five climbers, including four foreign tourists and their Filipino guide.
Laguerta noted a sharp increase in the sulfur dioxide emission to 850 tons per day “which is above the normal 500 tonnes per day.”

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda has alerted local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRRMC) in the cities of Ligao, Legazpi and Tabaco and the municipalities of Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Sto. Domingo and Malilipot to immediately submit reports on the number of population (families and persons) still residing within the six-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).

Alejandro Intia, head of Legazpi City DRRMC, said in a phone interview that they are on a preparedness and alert status, especially in the villages of Mabinit, Buyuan, Bogtong, Buyuan, Matanag and Padang, all located in the southeast sector of the volcano and within the six- to eight-kilometer radius of the slopes of Mayon.

Mayor Herbie Aguas of Sto. Domingo town assured preparation of evacuation centers for residents near the volcano’s eight-kilometer radius. He said the villages of Lidong, San Isidro, Fidel Surtida, Sta. Misericordia and part of San Fernando are at risk whenever Mayon erupts.

Salceda ordered no human activity near the perimeter of the six-kilometer PDZ. Mountain climbing as well operation of the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) beyond lava fronts have been prohibited.


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