Mayon Volcano wows with ‘salakot’ clouds after typhoon

By: Ves Garcia - @inquirerdotnet - Inquirer.net | November 13,2020 - 06:29 PM

Mayon Volcano made for an eye-catching view on social media after its peak was capped with salakot-like lenticular clouds anew on Thursday, Nov. 12.

Photographer John Cidric Santillan took to Facebook to share snaps of the popular tourist spot in Albay after Typhoon Ulysses dumped heavy rain in the Bicol region on Nov. 12. The picturesque view was seen from Barangay 42-Rawis in Legazpi City.

The cloud formation shows lens-shaped clouds which normally appear in mountain ranges and volcanoes, but can rarely be seen on ordinary days. These clouds usually develop when sufficient moisture is present above the mountain-top level during good weather conditions, creating a series of oscillating waves.

Netizens astounded by the occurrence after a destructive typhoon were in awe upon seeing Santillan’s photos, which have been shared on various social media platforms. With its lens or saucer-shaped appearance, the cloud formation is sometimes mistaken for an unidentified flying object (UFO) — others call the phenomenon “flying saucer clouds.”

Santillan’s post has already amassed over 166,000 reactions and over 208,000 shares as of writing.

Attractive but dangerous

This cloud formation on top of mountains may look attractive but can be dangerous, according to Ariel Samudio, weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in Albay. He said in an INQUIRER.net report in 2019 that airline pilots avoid passing through these clouds as they could bring air turbulence due to sudden changes in the wind speed.

Though an attraction, the volcano itself presents hazards too. Several towns in Albay province have been devastated recently by massive lahar flow from the slopes of Mayon after prolonged heavy rainfall brought by a series of typhoons.

Considering that the Mayon Volcano is a highly active stratovolcano in the country with recorded historical eruptions, it could be more dangerous when it erupts again, sending thousands of residents to various evacuation camps. NVG

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TAGS: Albay, Mayon, salakot clouds, salakot-like lenticular clouds, Santillan, Ulysses

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