Phreatic eruption observed over Mayon on Sunday afternoon

Phreatic eruption observed over Mayon on Sunday afternoon

/ 05:49 PM February 04, 2024

Mayon volcano (Photo from TY ANAID)

Mayon volcano (Photo from TY ANAID)

UPDATED MANILA, Philippines — A plume of volcanic ash and steam billowed from the crater of Mayon in Albay on Sunday afternoon, signaling heightened activity from the volcano.

Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-Phivolcs) reported at 4:37 p.m., the volcano spewed ash at a height of 1,200 meters.


In a post on X (formerly Twitter), DOST-Phivolcs said the volcano’s spewing of ash was due to a phreatic eruption which lasted four minutes and nine seconds.


State seismologists later clarified on Monday (February 5) morning that the eruption actually lasted a total of 169 seconds.

Phivolcs explained in a message to reporters that phreatic eruptions occur suddenly and without warning.

“Phreatic or steam-driven eruptions are sudden-onset and short-lived events. They happen without warning or any precursors,” said (DOST-Phivolcs).

“Hence, DOST-PHIVOLCS has always cautioned the public of possible phreatic eruptions from Mayon Volcano, even at Alert Level 0,” it added.

The event on Sunday caused a loud booming sound, some rockfalls, and pyroclastic density currents (PDC).


PDC is an event involving the flowing of a mixture of hot, fragmented volcanic particles, gases and ash, which rush from a volcano’s crater, Phivolcs previously explained.

Mayon is currently at Alert Level 2, according to Phivolc’s latest volcano bulletin issued on Sunday morning.

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This alert level has been raised over Mayon since December 8, 2023.

State seismologists said the volcano had been emitting 621 tons of sulfur dioxide every day since February 2.

TAGS: Albay, Mayon, Regions

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