LEGAZPI CITY: Officials of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) are puzzled by the current restiveness and unpredictability of Mount Mayon describing them as the trickiest in the last 50 years.
Ma. Antonia V. Bornas, chief of the volcano monitoring and eruption prediction division, said Mayon’s behavior is very different from past eruptions that they could not exactly predict what would happen next.
Latest observations showed that the magma chamber beneath the volcano is not only ascending but is also expanding, making the base called magma dike to inflate to accommodate bigger volume of magma build up.
“Magma intrusion is not only taking place within the conduit but also in dike type. The current unrest of Mayon is very different and so tricky,” she said.
“So we cannot bring down the alert level status of Mayon from Level 3 to Level 2 because the magma is there already and it could explode anytime. So we need to make our best judgment as scientists,” Bornas explained.
In 2001, lava dome showed off for five months before the volcano exploded but only after lava trickled down the slopes of the volcano.
Ed Laguerta, Phivolcs senior resident volcanologist, said it’s very dangerous to interpret the behavior of Mayon. He called on the public to observe the six to eight kilometer extended danger zone to prevent any potential damage to human lives in the event of an explosion.
Yesterday’s bulletin said Mayon volcano’s seismic network recorded three rock fall events during the past 24 hours.