Phivolcs warns anew: Heavy rain may trigger lahar at Mayon Volcano
MANILA, Philippines — State volcanologists on Saturday warned that heavy rainfall “could generate channel-confined lahars and sediment-laden streamflows in channels” of the Mayon Volcano.
In a Laging Handa public briefing on Friday, Mayon Volcano Resident Volcanologist Dr. Paul Alanis cautioned residents near the volcano to be vigilant against the possibility of lahar.
“Sa probinsya ng Albay, pinapaalalahanan natin ang ating mga kababayan na nakatira malapit sa ilog na nagmumula sa Mayon Volcano na maghanda at maging alerto [dahil] maaaring magkaroon tayo ng lahar,” said Alanis.
(In the province of Albay, we remind our fellow countrymen who live near the river that comes from the Mayon Volcano to prepare and be alert [because] we may have a lahar.)
In an advisory issued at 8 a.m. on Saturday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said: “Heavy rainfall could generate channel-confined lahars and sediment-laden streamflows in channels where pyroclastic density current deposits were emplaced.”
It further warned of other volcanic hazards like rockfalls and stressed that the six-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone of the volcano should remain evacuated.
Phivolcs also reported that a very slow effusion of lava from the summit crater continued. It said lava flows have now advanced to approximate lengths of 2,800 meters along Mi-isi gully and 1,400 meters along Bonga gully of Mayon.
Phivolcs likewise noted that collapse debris has deposited to 4,000 meters from the crater along the Basud channel.
Unrest indicators were further marked from 5 a.m., July 14, to 5 a.m., July 15 – five pyroclastic density currents generated by dome-collapse, 362 rockfall events, 39 volcanic earthquakes, and an average of 2,132 metric tons sulfur dioxide emission, according to state volcanologists.
Mayon Volcano is still under Alert Level 3 as hazardous eruption within weeks or even days remain possible, said Phivolcs.