Environment

Phreatic eruptions at Mayon volcano, Philippines


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Two phreatic eruption events were recorded at Mayon volcano, Philippines at 00:11 and 22:27 UTC on March 7, 2019. PHIVOLCS maintains Alert Level 2 over the volcano – moderate level of unrest.

Mayon volcano’s seismic monitoring network recorded 6 volcanic earthquakes and two 2 rockfall events during the 24-hour observation period, PHIVOLCS reported 08:00 local time today (00:00 UTC, March 8).

Two of these earthquakes were related to phreatic eruptions that generated 500- and 300-m (1 640 and 984 feet) high grayish ash plume from the summit before drifting southwest, respectively.

Moderate emission of white steam-laden plumes before drifting west-northwest, west-southwest and west was observed. Fair crater glow from the summit could be observed at night.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 988 tonnes/day on March 7. Precise leveling data obtained from January 25 to February 3, 2019 indicate a slight deflation of the edifice relative to December 8 – 13, 2018.

However, continuous GPS and electronic tilt data show inflation of the mid-slopes since June 2018.

PHIVOLCS maintains Alert Level 2. This means that Mayon is at a moderate level of unrest.

Members of the public are reminded sudden explosions, lava collapses, pyroclastic density currents or PDCs and ashfall can still occur and threaten areas in the upper to middle slopes of Mayon.

Entry into the 6 km (3.7 miles) radius Permanent Danger Zone is strictly prohibited as well as into a precautionary 7 km (4.3 miles) radius Extended Danger Zone in the south-southwest to east-northeast sector, stretching from Anoling, Camalig to Sta. Misericordia, Sto. Domingo.

People residing close to these danger areas are also advised to observe precautions associated with rockfalls, PDCs and ashfall.

Active stream/river channels and those identified as perennially lahar-prone areas on all sectors of the volcano should also be avoided especially during extreme weather conditions when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall.

Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and PDCs may pose hazards to aircrafts.

Featured image credit: DOST-PHIVOLCS

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