Philippine Mayon Volcano Still Poses Threat
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) raised the alert level from 2 to 3 Monday night, December 14, meaning that the volcano might erupt within the coming weeks. A permanent danger zone was marked at eight kilometers radius from Mayon. The volcano is situated 330 kms (206 miles) south of the capital Manila.
Around 30,000 of the 50,000 residents living in the vicinity of the volcano has been evacuated to 21 different temporary shelters.
As of the latest reports, five events of ash explosions have been seen and two lava domes has been spotted. Philvolcs is already posed to raise again the alert level from 3 to 4 meaning that the there would intense unrest characterized by “persistent tremor, many low frequency-type earthquakes, erratic sulfur emissions, intense crater glow, incandescent lava fragments at the summit area” and that a “hazardous eruption is possible within days.” The province of Albay has been declared to be under state of calamity. The provincial government has also issued zero-tolerance warnings for residents refusing to evacuate.
The volcano had 49 eruptions since its first recorded explosion in 1616. Its most destructive eruption occurred in 1814 where more than 2000 people died and where the entire town of Cagsawa has been buried, only its belltower survived, which is now a tourist spot. Its longest eruption occurred in 1897 when it continuously spewed fire and lava for seven days – nonstop.