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Mayon unrest may last for a few months, says Phivolcs

By: John Eric Mendoza - | June 13,2023 - 10:08 AM

MANILA, Philippines — State volcanologists on Tuesday said the unrest in Mayon Volcano could last for a few months based on their observations in previous years.

Dr. Teresito Bacolcol, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), said this was similar to Mayon’s activity in 2018 and 2014.

“Based on our experience, this activity may persist [for] a few months,” Bacolcol said in a Teleradyo interview.

READ MORE: Mayon Alert Level 3 stays; effusive eruption, 21 volcanic quakes recorded

“Kapag violent naman ang eruption niya, this would probably take a few days to weeks, pero kapag ganitong mabagal, it would probably take several months,” he added.

(When the eruption is violent, this would probably take a few days to weeks, but when it is slow like this, it would probably take several months.)

Bacolcol said this meant that residents in the volcano’s permanent danger zone would have to stay in the evacuation centers for a few months.

More than 14,000 residents have been staying in evacuation centers, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

“Parang ganoon na nga ang mangyayari (That seems to be the case),” he said when asked if this meant that residents inside the volcano’s permanent danger zone would have their stay prolonged for a few months.

“Unless i-lower natin ang alert level natin, we have no choice but ‘yung mga taong nasa permanent danger zone, will have to stay muna sa evacuation centers.  In the first place, dapat po walang tao diyan sa permanent danger zone,” he pointed out.

(Unless we lower the alert level, we have no choice but to have those who live inside the permanent danger zone stay in evacuation centers. There should be no people in the permanent danger zone in the first place.)

Phivolcs classified Mayon Volcano under Alert Level 3 last Thursday due to “potential explosive activity happening within days or weeks.”

Alert Level 3 is declared when a volcano’s magma is near or at the surface, and its activity could lead to hazardous eruptions in weeks.

Under the said alert level, the danger zone could only be expanded up to eight kilometers from the active crater, according to the metrics of the state seismologists.

Albay Governor Edcel Greco Lagman has already extended the “danger zone” of the volcano to seven-kilometer radius.

As of Tuesday, Phivolcs said the Mayon Volcano saw one volcanic earthquake, spewing 723 tonnes of sulfur dioxide.

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TAGS: eruption, Mayon, Phivolcs, volcano

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