Disaster Fact Checks

FACT CHECK: Mayon Volcano alert status has not been raised to Level 4


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FACT CHECK: Mayon Volcano alert status has not been raised to Level 4
As of June 17, Mayon Volcano is still at Alert Level 3, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology

Claim: The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised the alert status of Mayon Volcano to Level 4. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a YouTube video with the title “PILIPINAS DARATING NA SIYA! NGAYON LANG, ALERT LEVEL 4 SA BULKANG MAYON (Philippines it is coming! Just now, Alert Level 4 over Mayon Volcano). The video has 75,586 views, 1,400 likes, and 94 comments, as of writing.

The facts: Mayon Volcano remains at Alert Level 3 as of Saturday, June 17. Phivolcs has not made any announcements regarding a change in alert level status.

The video, posted on June 14, falsely claimed that Phivolcs raised the alert status to Level 4. However, the agency’s Mayon Volcano Summary of 24 Hour Observation report released on the same date showed that the volcano was still at Alert Level 3, which means that there was a “high level of volcanic unrest” and that there was an increased tendency towards a hazardous interruption. The summary further reported that seven volcanic earthquakes and 309 rockfall events were recorded.

The succeeding summary reports for June 15 and June 16 showed that the alert level remained unchanged. The latest update on the morning of June 17 reported very slow effusion of lava flow, two volcanic earthquakes, and 280 rockfall events recorded in the past 24 hours.

As of posting, Phivolcs has not raised the volcano’s alert status to Level 4, which would indicate that a hazardous eruption is imminent.

Phivolcs warned of potential hazards, such as pyroclastic density currents, lava flows, rockfalls, ashfall, and lahar. There is a 6-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone surrounding the volcano.

Source of false claims: Sa Iyong Araw, the YouTube channel which posted the video, has previously made several false claims fact-checked by Rappler:

For legitimate information and updates regarding the status of Mayon Volcano and its current alert level, visit Phivolcs’ dedicated Mayon Volcano Bulletin page. Katarina Ruflo/Rappler.com

Katarina Ruflo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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