LEGAZPI CITY, Albay: Mayon Volcano was calm on Monday but the threat of eruption remains, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Chief volcanologist Ed La-guerta said Mayon’s slowing down could be a prelude to a bigger explosion.
An aerial survey of Tactical Operations Group 5-Philippine Air Force helicopters showed the protruding lava dome levelling over the crater’s rim—a precursor that may cause deadly pyroclastic materials once ejected.
“Even the rockfall event stops— this is just a process of Mayon relaxation before a full blown eruption, a pattern similar to 2000 to 2001 explosion with pyroclastic flow—a turbulent mass of ejected fragmented volcanic materials ash and rocks mixed with hot gas that flow downslope at the velocity of 60 kph,” Laguerta told The Manila Times.
“Sometimes, there is calm before the storm just like in 1968, 1978, 1984, and 2000, after an early increase in seismicity, there was a decrease [quiescence]in seismicity in the days-weeks before the eruption began,” he said.
Laguerta said that from May 2013 phreatic explosion of Mount Mayon that killed European hikers and a Filipino tourist guide, the volcano’s unrest started where the lava dome developed and continuously growing.
As the lava dome equalizes with the crater’s ring of the volcano, Phivolcs official warned that the imminent explosion of Mayon will not only threatened within the southeast quadrant but somewhere in Tabaco City.
As the impending explosion of Mayon is threatening Albayanos, Gov. Joey Salceda strongly enforced the no human’s land activity in six kilometer permanent dander zone to prevent casualty.
“If you don’t evacuate, you’re dead. So, strictly we’re enforcing the no return to six PDZ and extended seven PDZ. We’re giving all your needs for you to stay away from no man’s land zone. Violation of this directive will be dealt with necessary action,” the governor said.
“We’re anticipating because Mayon volcano eruption is to whom it may concerns that’s why we’re two steps ahead. This is the most rational because at level 5 we will not evacuate as even the lives of the rescuers were at stake,” Salceda said.
At least 11, 255 families or 51, 963 people have been evacuated since last week after Phivolcs raised Mayon’s alert level to 3.