Public told to be extra vigilant as Mayon’s major eruption still possible

Mayon ash cloud

Manila, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has “strongly advised” the public to be extra vigilant as it warned that a sudden major eruption of the Mayon volcano remains possible.

This, as Phivolcs noted “near continuous” lava activities and steam emission at Mayon in the past few days.

“Mayon’s activity in the past 24 hours was characterized by near continuous lava fountaining, lava flow, and degassing from the summit crater,” Phivolcs said in its 8 a.m. bulletin on Wednesday.

Phivolcs data showed that the Mayon volcano had 78 successive lava fountaining episodes, and consequently, 83 volcanic earthquakes and frequent rock fall events in the Miisi and Bonga-Buyuan channels.

Since early Monday morning, Phivolcs recorded a total of 152 successive lava fountaining events.

“Hindi pa nagde-deflate yung Mayon, so mayroon pa siyang laman,” Ma. Antonia Bornas, Chief of Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division, told in a phone interview.

“Wala po kaming nakikitang changes so mayroong chance talaga (na magkaroon ng major eruption),” she also said.

Phivolcs said that sporadic lava fountaining episodes were recorded to last for about three to 41 minutes, and were accompanied with rumbling sounds heard within the 10-kilometer radius of the volcano.

The agency also noted persistent steam ejection with a height of 2.5 kilometers going towards the east and northeast directions.

Meanwhile, lava from the summit crater has also advanced in the Miisi and Bonga-Buyuan channels at 3.3 km and 4.5 km, respectively, while sulfur dioxide gas emission was measured on Wednesday at an average of 1,885 tons per day.

Alert Level 4 remains in effect at the Mayon volcano.

Phivolcs also urged civil aviation authorities to advise pilots to avoid the peak of Mt. Mayon since ash from its eruption would be harmful to aircrafts.

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