Alert level 1 raised over Mayon but no imminent eruption expected
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised an alert level 1 over Mount Mayon in Albay province on Thursday morning after it observed abnormalities around the volcano.
Citing latest observations, Ed Laguerta, resident volcanologist of Phivolcs here, said the volcano’s base ground is “inflated.”
Laguerta said 146 earthquakes were also recorded from Aug. 3 to 6, with epicenter traced to Sto. Domingo town.
While there was no imminent danger of an eruption, Laguerta reminded residents in towns surrounding the volcano not to venture into the 6-km permanent danger zone around Mayon.
Phivolcs, in its bulletin, reminded the public to avoid the danger zone due to the perennial hazards of rockfall, avalanches, ash puffs and sudden steam-driven or phreatic eruption in the summit area which may occur without warning.
Alex Baloloy, science research analyst of Phivolcs Bicol, said the agency raised the alert level from zero when monitoring showed the frequency of earthquakes and observed sulfur dioxide emissions, ground deformation and decrease in water discharge or drying up of wells and streams around the volcano.
This means that the volcano is in an “abnormal” condition and has entered a period of unrest, Baloloy said.
He said alert levels 1 to 2 are raised to remind local governments to prepare their personnel for future evacuations and disaster response.
Evacuation of residents is advised when the alert level reaches 3 to 5, he said. RAM/rga
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