Mayon ashfall blankets parts of Albay
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, Philippines — As Mt. Mayon continued to display an increasing level of restiveness, the volcano on Monday spewed ash affecting two localities in Albay province, with brownish plumes created by pyroclastic density currents (PDC) reaching up to 500 meters.
The ashfall was recorded in Ligao City, which prompted students of Ligao National High School to seek cover, and also in Guinobatan town, according to local authorities.
Ybeth Datur, a teacher at that school, said the ashfall started at 9:50 a.m. and lasted for about four minutes. “The [senior high school students] stopped [their activity] and immediately went to buildings to seek cover. The moderate rains washed the ashes at noon,” Datur said in an online chat.
Residents in the neighboring town of Guinobatan also reported experiencing a similar ashfall incident.
Paul Karson Alanis, resident volcanologist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in Legazpi, said the PDC, or fast-moving avalanches of volcanic ash, rock and gases that created plumes of ash, were carried by the wind to the western part of the volcano, facing Guinobatan and Ligao City, instead of moving to the Basud gully in Sto. Domingo town.
He said the event that started at 7:20 a.m. on Monday was similar to the previous records of PDC monitored in Mi-isi gully in Daraga town and Bonga gully in Legazpi City.
“We cannot really compare, but based on the signal in our instrument, we can see that it’s almost the same [with the previous PDC],” Alanis said in a phone interview on Monday.
In its Monday bulletin, Phivolcs said the Mayon Volcano Network recorded 295 rockfall events, three volcanic earthquakes, two dome-collapsed PDC that lasted two minutes and another two lava front collapsed PDC that generated a 200-m-high light brown plume.
The lava flow reached 2.7 kilometers in Mi-isi gully and 1.3 km in Bonga gully.
The volcano remained on alert level 3, which meant that it is currently in a relatively high level of unrest as magma is at the crater and a hazardous eruption would be possible within weeks or even days.