Alert Level 3 raised as 141 rockfalls recorded in Mayon By Connie Calipay
LEGAZPI CITY — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised Mayon Volcano’s alert status to Alert Level 3 Sunday evening, as 141 rockfalls have been recorded in the past 24 hours.
Phivolcs resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta said this means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or days.
“The six-km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southeastern flank enforced due to the danger of rock falls, landslides and the 3 km lava flows,” he said.
Laguerta said the agency seismic network recorded two volcanic earthquakes and 141 rockfall events during the past 24 hours. Degassing at the active vents could not be observed due to thick clouds covering the summit.
He added that crater glow was visible early Monday morning, although rain clouds prevented visual observation of the crater during the day.
Mayon’s summit crater is now exhibiting bright crater glow that signifies the growth of a new lava dome and beginnings of lava flow towards the southern slopes.
“Based on records, Precise leveling data obtained on November 7 to 11, 2017 indicated slight inflation of the edifice relative to September 2017. This is also exhibited in increased rates in the inflationary trends recorded by continuous GPS and tilt since October and November 2017, respectively. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 856 tonnes/day on 03 December 2017,” Laguerta said.
Alert Level 3 remains in effect over Mayon Volcano, which means that it is currently in a relatively high level of unrest.
Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) head Cedric Daep said, the public is strongly advised to be vigilant and desist from entering the six (6) kilometer-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southern flanks, due to the danger of rockfalls, landslides and sudden explosions or dome collapse that may generate hazardous volcanic flows.
Increased vigilance against pyroclastic density currents, lahars and sediment-laden streamflows along channels draining the edifice is also advised.
The PDRRMC, Albay Provincial Safety and Emergency Management Office, and the mayors of the affected cities and municipalities will have an emergency meeting at 1:00 p.m. Monday.