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Mayon Volcano spews ash; alert level 1 up

Image from Albay Rep. Joey Salceda’s Facebook page shows Mayon Volcano spewing ash following a phreatic eruption yesterday afternoon.   

LEGAZPI CITY  , Philippines  —  Mayon Volcano yesterday spewed ash in a phreatic explosion, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology(Phivolcs) said.

Ed Laguerta, Mayon resident volcanologist, said the explosion occured at 5:06 p.m., with mild ash reaching Barangay Travesia in Guinobatan town.

“We can’t determine the height of the ash column because of the thick clouds at the summit,” said Laguerta.

He said weeks of continous rainfall starting end-December up to the first week of January could have caused water to come in contact with the lava dome and the previous packet of pressure at the summit of the volcano.

Alert level 1 has remained in effect over Mayon volcano which means that it is in an abnormal condition, Laguerta said.

Seismic monitoring network did not detect any volcanic earthquake during the past 24 hours, Phivolcs said. 

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Moderate to voluminous emissions of white steam-laden plumes that drifted southwest, northwest, north-northeast and west-southwest was observed, it said. 

Precise leveling data obtained from Nov. 7 to 11 last year showed slight inflation of the edifice relative to the September 2017 volcanic activity. 

Sulfur dioxide  emission was measured at an average of 856 tons a day last Dec. 3.

 “Although this means that presently no magmatic eruption is imminent, it is strongly advised that the public refrain from entering the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone due to the perennial life-threatening dangers of rockfalls, landslides/avalanches in the middle to upper slope,” Philvolcs said. 

Active stream/river channels and those identified as perennially lahar-prone areas in all sectors of the volcano should also be avoided, especially during extreme bad weather such as heavy and prolonged rainfall.

 – With Rhodina Villanueva

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