Mayon Volcano spews 1.2-km ash column

Mayon Volcano spews 1.2-km ash column

WHITE ON BLUE Mayon Volcano in Albay spews ash reachingup to 1.2 kilometers, as viewed from the village of Tagas in Daraga, Albay, on Sunday. —NOR HAMIEL LLORCA/CONTRIBUTOR

WHITE ON BLUE Mayon Volcano in Albay spews ash reaching up to 1.2 kilometers, as viewed from the village of Tagas in Daraga, Albay, on Sunday. —NOR HAMIEL LLORCA/CONTRIBUTOR

LEGAZPI CITY—Residents of communities in Albay province close to Mount Mayon were told to stay vigilant after ash column reaching up to 1,200 meters or 1.2 kilometers (km) from its crater on Sunday.

The phreatic eruption lasted from 4:37 p.m. to 4:40 p.m., Paul Alanis, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Mayon Volcano Observatory resident volcanologist, told the Inquirer in a phone interview.


Alanis said that the ash column has drifted to the southwest portion of Mayon Volcano to the direction of the towns of Daraga, Camalig and Guinobatan.


Mayon Volcano had its warning status lowered from alert level 3 (high level of volcanic unrest) to 2 (moderate level of volcanic unrest) on Dec. 8, 2023.Despite this recent activity, Alanis said the volcano will remain on alert level 2.

“Right now, we see no indication that the volcano is intensifying,” Alanis told the Inquirer.

In an earlier interview, Alanis said the volcano was still considered to be in an abnormal condition, which meant that there was still the possibility of rockfall events, pyroclastic density currents (hot, fast-moving mixture of gas and volcanic debris) and explosive eruptions.

Light ash falls

As of Sunday afternoon, only the disaster risk reduction and management council in Libon town reported light ash covering some cars and infrastructures in some areas of the town.

Ian Sario Secillano, Libon Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office chief, on Sunday advised the elderly and children to wear face masks because the ash may trigger respiratory ailments.


Meanwhile, the provincial government of Albay alerted the residents, especially those inside the 6-km radius permanent danger zone after Mayon’s phreatic eruption on Sunday afternoon.

Cedric Daep, head of Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office, said in a text message they advised the public to be vigilant as the volcano remains under alert level 2.Daep said the residents would be evacuated once alert level 3 is raised anew.

According to Phivolcs, the alert level of Mayon Volcano may be raised again to level 3 if there are “sustained increases in the levels of volcanic earthquakes, some may be perceptible, and occurrence of low-frequency earthquakes, volcanic tremor, rumbling sounds.”

READ: Phreatic eruption observed over Mayon on Sunday afternoon

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Forceful and voluminous steam/ash ejections, sustained increases in sulfur dioxide emission rates, ground deformation/swelling of the edifice, and activity at the summit may involve dome growth and/or lava flow, resultant to rockfall should also be recorded, the agency explained on it’s website.

In December last year, the remaining 55 families, or 211 people, in Camalig town were allowed to go home as the warning status of Mayon Volcano was lowered to alert level 2. They were the last to leave the evacuation centers after the volcano’s alert level was raised to 3 in June due intensify activity. —WITH a REPORT FROM MICHAEL B. JAUCIAN INQ

TAGS: Ash, Mayon, Phivolcs

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