Mayon Volcano lowered to alert level 2

Jee Y. Geronimo

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Mayon Volcano lowered to alert level 2

AFP

Residents are still reminded not to enter the 6-km Permanent Danger Zone despite a 'general decline' in the volcano's overall activity

MANILA, Philippines – With a “general decline” in its overall activity, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Friday, December 19, lowered the status of Mayon Volcano in Albay from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2.

“This means that the likelihood of hazardous eruption within days to weeks has lessened,” Phivolcs said in its December 19 bulletin.

The last recorded seismic swarm was last November 29, but the agency warned that lowering the status does not mean the volcano’s unrest has ceased, especially with the eruptible magma that has already accumulated deep beneath it.

“If there is a resurgence of volcanic unrest based on any one or combination of the above monitoring parameters, the alert status may step up to Alert Level 3 again. On the other hand, if there is a noticeable return to baseline levels of ground deformation and sustained low levels of other parameters, then the Alert Level may further step down,” Phivolcs added.

Mayon Volcano was placed on Alert Level 3 last September 15 after showing signs of “relatively high unrest.” Since then, thousands of families have been evacuated to safety.

Last November 4, evacuees who live in the 7 to 8-kilometer extended danger zone were allowed to return to their houses. (READ: Albay needs P118M a month for Mayon evacuation)

After the lowering of the alert status on Friday, Phivolcs reminded residents not to enter the 6-km Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) due to perennial hazards such as rockfalls, avalanche, ash puffs and sudden steam-driven or phreatic eruptions at the summit area.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda on Friday also lifted the province’s advisories on alert level 3. Previous advisories on alert levels 2 and 1 remain in effect.


 

Salceda said almost 3,000 families will be allowed to return home, but the province will continue to work on their relocation, prioritizing the municipalities of Camalig and Daraga.

Phivolcs said that in the event of heavy rainfall, people living in valleys and active river channels should be on alert for sediment-laden streamflows and lahars. – Rappler.com

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.