For 3 weeks now, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has observed faint crater glow from Albay province’s Mayon Volcano – 3 years after the volcano’s last eruption.
The glow is an indication that magma beneath the volcano is moving up towards the crater, which could lead to a possible eruption. The glow was first observed on January 6, then seen again on January 18, and most recently on Wednesday, January 20. Phivolcs also registered 10 low frequency volcanic earthquakes on the 20th.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions also reached an average of 676 tons per day – higher than normal – when they were measured on December 29.
Mayon Volcano is currently on Alert Level 1, which means it is in an abnormal state. Phivolcs is prohibiting the public from getting within 6 kilometers of the volcano as a precaution.
“Although this means that presently no magmatic eruption is imminent, it is strongly advised that the public refrain from entering the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) due to the perennial life-threatening dangers of rockfalls, landslides/avalanches at the middle to upper slope, sudden ash puffs and steam-driven or phreatic eruptions from the summit,” said the institute.
Active stream or river channels and other lahar-prone areas around the volcano should also be avoided, especially during heavy and prolonged rainfall.
Mayon Volcano last erupted on January 22, 2018. It is one of the most active of the Philippines’ 22 volcanos, having erupted more than 50 times in the last 500 years. – Rappler.com