Alert level raised after volcano eruption

Alert level raised after volcano eruption

Phivolcs has raised alert level 2 over Mayon, which means that the cause of the restiveness could be magmatic, leading possibly "to more phreatic eruptions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruptions".

PHIVOLCS raised alert level 2 over Mayon Volcano early Sunday, meaning there is increasing unrest, after the volcano spewed ash on Saturday afternoon.

For Sunday, Phivolcs recorded successive phreatic eruption at 8:49 a.m. Ashfall has been reported at the west and southwest slopes and another eruption at 10:50 a.m. that lasted for five minutes.

It also said that the 6-kilometer (km) permanent danger zone around the volcano, as well as the 7-km extended danger zone, should be enforced "due to the danger of rockfalls, landslides, and sudden explosions or dome collapse that may generate hazardous volcanic flows".

The first steam-driven eruption started at around 5pm local time, with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recording an ash column of 2500m high.

It was not immediately clear how many residents had to leave the danger zone.

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Another eruption occurred later around 11:43 a.m. - it lasted approximately 15 minutes based on seismic record.

Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said the volcano may be due for an eruption as it had been displaying abnormal behaviour for several month.

Residents have been urged to protect against inhaling the ash by wearing masks or covering their noses and mouths with damp cloths.

This also suggests there is no imminent major eruption, but the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said it had ordered the evacuation of residents for the safety of their health due to expected ashfall.

"We have not reached the critical level", he said in a radio interview. It was at its most deadly in February 1841, when 1200 people were killed and lava buried a town.

It also noted that a "faint crater glow" was observed on Saturday evening and Mayon has been "slightly swelling" since October and November a year ago.

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