After months of quiet, Mayon volcano erupts again

Rhaydz B. Barcia
After months of quiet, Mayon volcano erupts again
'There's no time to relax. Even if the volcano looks calm from the distance, from our instrument, the volcano is still in abnormal condition,' says Phivolcs resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Following months of quiet, Mount Mayon erupted again on Sunday afternoon, July 1, sending white to light gray ash clouds 500 meters up the sky.

The eruption took place around 12:30 pm on Sunday. This was months after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) lowered the volcano’s alert level status from 3 to 2 in March.

Ed Laguerta, resident volcanologist of Phivolcs in Bicol, explained that Sunday’s eruption was phreatic in nature.

A phreatic explosion is a steam-driven episode that occurs when water beneath the ground or on the surface is heated by magma, lava, hot rocks, or new volcanic deposits. 

Laguerta said: “There’s no time to relax. Even if the volcano looks calm from the distance, from our instrument, the volcano is still in abnormal condition.”

“The phreatic explosion that occurred on Sunday afternoon demonstrated our recommendation not to lower the alert status of Mayon volcano as it is still exhibiting signs of restiveness, though the trend of abnormalities is moving from moderate level of unrest to a quiet period,” he added.

The restive condition of Mount Mayon earlier forced thousands of Filipinos to evacuate. Earlier this year, more than 54,600 evacuees went home. – Rappler.com

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