'Hazardous' Mayon Volcano eruption possible within days

'Hazardous' Mayon Volcano eruption possible within days

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the warning to level two, meaning the current activity displayed by the Mayon Volcano is "probably of magmatic origin, which could lead to more phreatic eruptions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruptions".

PHIVOLCS said traces of ash fell on Barangay Anoling in Daraga, Barangays Sua, Quirangay, Tumpa, Ilawod, Salugan of Camalig, and Barangays Tandarora, Maninila, and Travesia in Guinobatan.

Prior to this phreatic eruption, Mayon's edifice has undergone inflationary changes or a slight swelling of the edifice as indicated by ground deformation data recorded by continuous Global Positioning System and tilt since October and November 2017, respectively.

During the first eruption, the volcano discharged grayish steam and ash plume approximately 2,500 meters high that drifted to the southwest portion.

In a bulletin issued 8 pm on Sunday, January 14, Phivolcs said there have been 3 phreatic or steam-driven eruptions and 158 rockfall events between 4:21 pm of Saturday, January 13, and 7:25 pm of Sunday.

Philippine authorities raised its alert level of the Mayon volcano on Sunday for the second time in less than 24 hours from "increasing unrest" to "increased tendency towards eruption" within weeks or even days.

The seismological office urged the public not to enter the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), where sudden explosions, rockfalls and landslides could occur.

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It also asked civil aviation authorities to advise pilots from flying close to the volcano's summit, "as ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft".

Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said the volcano appeared due for another eruption as it has been displaying abnormal behavior since late previous year.

Mayon's biggest eruption was in 1841, when lava flows buried a town, killing 1,200 people.

Its last eruption came in 2014 when thousands were forced to evacuate.

"We have not reached the critical level", he said in a radio interview.

It advised people experiencing ashfall to cover their noses and mouths with a damp, clean cloth or dust mask.

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