Ash eruption from Mayon volcano in Philippines triggers evacuation

Ash Eruption From Philippines Volcano

Ash Eruption From Philippines Volcano

Mount Mayon erupts in Legazpi City, Philippines, on Saturday in this still obtained from social media.

On Saturday, residents of Camalig town proper smelled sulfur, while those from Anoling, Daraga heard rumbling sounds, PHIVOLCS added.

Phivolcs said the first phreatic eruption was recorded at 4:21 p.m. yesterday which lasted approximately an hour and 45 minutes.

Phivolcs has raised Alert Level 2 over the volcano, which means the "current unrest is probably of magmatic origin, which could lead to more phreatic eruptions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruptions".

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

Mayon, an active volcano, was placed under "critical" alert when it last spewed white smoke on September 2014 and caused thousands to flee the area.

The volcano, known for its near-perfect cone shape, is on the lowest alert level despite a "phreatic or steam-driven eruption", meaning people are not allowed to stay within a six-kilometre "permanent danger zone", Phivolcs said.


Mayon's biggest eruption was in 1841, when lava flows buried a town, killing 1,200 people.

Provincial disaster officials in Albay ordered the immediate evacuation of residents in 16 barangays at the foot of the volcano. Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano's summit as ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.

Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) chief, said evacuation of residents in Barangay Quirangay, parts of Guinobatan and Ligao City has started. In case of ash fall events, which are most likely to affect communities on the western and southwestern flanks downwind of Mayon's crater, people should cover their nose and mouth with damp, clean cloth or dust mask.

People living outside the danger zone but on the slopes of volcano were warned to take precautions against potential roof collapses due to the weight of ash and rainfall.

Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said the volcano appeared due for another eruption as it has been displaying abnormal behaviour since late a year ago.

"We have not reached the critical level", he said in a radio interview.

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