MANILA, Philippines – After a month and a half at Alert Level 1, Albay’s Mayon Volcano was placed under Alert Level 2 on Friday, October 7.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in a bulletin on Friday afternoon that it observed “increasing unrest” at Mayon Volcano, driven by “shallow magmatic processes.”
In particular, the agency noted that Mayon’s lava dome is growing. An aerial survey of the volcano on Friday morning “confirmed the presence of freshly extruded lava at the base of the summit lava dome.”
The unrest could eventually lead to phreatic or steam-driven eruptions, or even “precede a hazardous magmatic eruption,” Phivolcs warned.
Longer-term data also show the volcano has been “slightly inflated, especially on the northwest and southeast, since 2020.”
So far, sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission remains “below baseline levels,” which means it has not spiked at an alarming rate.
SO2, a major gas component of magma, was last measured at 391 tons per day on Saturday, October 1.
Phivolcs reminded the public not to enter the 6-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone around Mayon Volcano “to minimize risks from sudden explosions, rockfalls, and landslides.”
If there is ashfall, people should cover their nose and mouth with a damp, clean cloth or a dust mask, added the agency.
Phivolcs also advised pilots to avoid flying close to Mayon Volcano’s summit since ash can be hazardous to aircraft. – Rappler.com