Mayon's abnormal activity wanes, lowering of alert level mulled
ALBAY, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Saturday, February 3, that Mayon has shown low abnormal activity in the last 24 hours.
Phivolcs is considering lowering the alert level from 4 to 3 if Mayon's activity continues to wane in the next few weeks.
“But bear in mind that the seemingly downward trend of volcanic activity is not an assurance that Mayon will no longer erupt. We’re not discounting the possibility of explosive eruption because the volcano is still restive,” Phivolcs' Bicol resident volcanologist chief Ed Laguerta said in a press conference here on Saturday.
Laguerta added that in 1984, Mayon slowed down for a week before it had a major eruption and displaced tens of thousands of people.
“We are closely studying the sudden change and decrease of S02 (sulfur dioxide gas emission) of Mayon which was decreased to 1,583 tons per day from the more than 3,000 tons of SO2 emission two days ago," Laguerta said.
Alert Level 4 remains in effect and the public is strongly advised to be vigilant and not to enter the 8-kilometer-radius danger zone, and to be vigilant against pyroclastic density currents, lahars and sediment-laden streams that flow along channels.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and local disaster officials ordered a decampment on Friday, February 2, asking residents living outside the 8-kilometer danger area to leave the evacuation sites and go home to avoid any forms of disease outbreak.
From 84,415 evacuees, the number is down to 79,282 people spread across 72 evacuation shelters or 871 classrooms.
OCD Director Claudio Yucot said that there was no need for residents outside the danger zone to evacuate. Only those living within the 6 to 8-kilometer danger zone should be evacuated. – Rappler.com