A week of unrest as Mayon continues to spew lava, debris
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Sunday reported that Mayon Volcano continued to exhibit high levels of volcanic activity, spewing lava and triggering rockfall events.
Since Saturday, Mayon’s lava flow has increased up to 1.5 kilometers from the crater. It also recorded 274 rockfall events, three volcanic earthquakes, and 11 pyroclastic density currents.
“Very slow effusion of lava flow to maximum lengths of 1.5 km and lava collapse on Mi-isi and Bonga Gullies within 3.3 km from the crater,” Phivolcs reported in its 5 a.m. bulletin. Mayon Volcano remains under alert level 3 with “intensified or magmatic unrest.”
Phivolcs added that the volcano released 1,004 metric tons of sulfur dioxide. Its continuous degassing from the crater, meanwhile, produced steam-laden plumes reaching 100 meters.
Due to this development, the state volcanology agency warned the public that “rockfalls or landslides or avalanches; ballistic fragments; lava flows and lava fountaining; pyroclastic density currents; moderate-sized explosions; and lahars during heavy and prolonged rainfall” may occur within the area.
The 7-km radius permanent danger zone was also reinforced along with the prohibition on flying any aircraft close to the volcano.
Around 20,000 people living in communities surrounding Mayon were evacuated to 28 shelters in Albay after it was placed under alert level 2.
No deaths and injuries have been reported, but disaster risk and reduction agencies estimated around 40,000 people to have been affected.