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Mayon shows 2nd crater glow; eruption imminent

/ 06:23 AM October 15, 2014
In this handout photo taken on October 12, 2014 and released by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) shows the crater of Mayon volcano spewing smoke as seen from the observation post in Legazpi City, Albay province, southeast of Manila. AFP

In this handout photo taken on October 12, 2014 and released by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) shows the crater of Mayon volcano spewing smoke as seen from the observation post in Legazpi City, Albay province, southeast of Manila. AFP

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—A weak crater glow was seen early Wednesday morning on Mayon Volcano, indicating that magma has reached the crater and is waiting for enough pressure for an eruption.

Eduardo Laguerta, resident volcanologist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said the crater glow was seen between 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.

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“It is starting to show that the magma is at the crater and waiting for enough pressure to move up for an explosion,” he said.

But Laguerta said they could not say if the crater glow would be continuous since “Mayon is changing its mood rapidly.”

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He said based on their monitoring, the crater facing Camalig town was seen to be weak, which could be the area where magma could leak or move out.

“There is a weak point area or gap facing Camalig. If the [magma] supply and the pressure is sustained, the magma would move out and result to an eruption or another lava flow like what has happened last Sunday,” he added.

On Sunday, Phivolcs observed a short and viscous or sticky lava flow, 350 meters in length, cascading from the summit on the eastern side of Bonga Gully.

Paul Karson Alanis, science research specialist of Phivolcs, said this is the second crater glow observed since the volcano was raised to alert level 3 on Sept. 15.

He said although the magma adds heat to the lava dome, or the pile of lava formed at the crater, it would not collapse unless associated with a huge pressure.

Phivolcs’ bulletin on Wednesday morning showed the volcano recording only one rockfall event and 187 tons per day of sulfur dioxide emission, lesser compared to the 420 tons per day on Oct. 12.

Investigation ordered

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As this developed, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman has ordered an investigation into the distribution of damaged and spoiled relief goods to residents of Albay province who are now in evacuation centers.

Over 50,000 residents living near Mayon have been evacuated since a month ago as the volcano threatened to erupt.

In a statement issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Soliman said that the government “remains committed to provide safe food to evacuees for the duration of their stay in evacuation centers.”

Corrective actions

Soliman also ordered a review of the DSWD’s procurement process and the established practices followed in the warehouse, as well as the handling and logistics practices, for “corrective actions.”

The DSWD said it regretted the inclusion of 33 food packs containing the spoiled canned goods and expired noodles among the 22,350 food packs distributed to the evacuees over the weekend.

The department said these would be “immediately replaced so as not to compromise the food needs of the people.”

The DSWD said the expired noodles were “only newly procured,” which is why Soliman wanted to know how these ended up with the newly purchased goods.

Citing the initial investigation done by the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office, Soliman said the canned goods got damaged during the transit “due to the weight and bulk of the relief supplies piled in the trucks.”–With reports from Nikko Dizon and Dona Z. Pazzibugan

Originally posted at 2:24 pm | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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TAGS: Magma, Mayon Volcano, Phivolcs, Volcanic activity
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