Mayon rockfall events double in last 24 hours — Phivolcs
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Friday said that rockfall events in Mayon volcano more than doubled to 199 in the last 24 hours.
A total of 98 rockfalls were detected between June 7 and 8.
Phivolcs, in its latest advisory, also said that it recorded six pyroclastic density currents which lasted for four to five minutes, emplacing lava debris on the southern gullies within two kilometers from the volcano’s crater.
In an interview over ANC, Phivolcs Director Teresito Bacolcol said that a “crater glow” was observed over Mayon volcano on Thursday night.
“Last night we also observed a crater glow, meaning there is a superheated gas coming out of the crater which produced this glow,” said Bacolcol.
Bacolcol said he is hoping that Mayon volcano’s current unrest would not progress to a full eruption, and would only duplicate its volcanic activity in 2014 where it only exhibited lava flow without magmatic eruption.
“We are hoping for a 2014 scenario which is just rockfall events, lava flow and will stop. Hopefully not like 2018 where there was a full blown eruption,” said Bacolcol.
Bacolcol noted that Phivolcs has recorded a lower amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions averaging 332 metric tons per day as of June 7, which is lower than the usual 500 metric tons.
No volcanic earthquakes were recorded on Thursday, June 8, with only a total of two earthquakes recorded since June 5, Bacolcol added.
He added that because of these traits, it is still possible that Mayon won’t experience a full eruption like in 2018.
“Yes there is always this possibility because as I’ve said, the big difference now is that we don’t see a high emission of sulfur dioxide, But again, anything can happen that’s why we’re closely monitoring Mayon volcano,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Phivolcs has already recommended all residents within Mayon’s six-kilometer permanent danger zone to evacuate.
“We recommend that they be evacuated because they might be in danger of pyroclastic density currents, rockfall, lava flow, and possible eruption,” said Bacolcol.
The provincial government of Albay has already ordered the mandatory evacuation of more than 18,000 residents inside the permanent danger zone, with the evacuation in the towns of Daraga, Malilipot, and Camalig, and the cities of Ligao and Tabaco set to start on Friday morning.
The provincial government also prohibited all human activities inside the danger zone, as well as quarrying activities within the volcano’s seven-kilometer radius.
Mayon volcano was placed on Alert Level 3 by Phivolcs on Thursday, indicating a “potential explosive activity happening within days or weeks.”