LEGAZPI CITY, Albay: The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Sunday conducted an aerial survey on Mayon Volcano to check the status of lava dome blocking its crater.
Phivolcs resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta described Mayon as in a disturbing stage and that “the dome that is now choking the volcano’s crater is giving off more pressure as magma is gradually ascending the summit, a scenario that could lead to bigger and stronger explosion in this 21st century”.
Laguerta will present the data uncovered during the aerial survey conducted by Tactical Operations Group 5-Philippine Air Force Bicol to the Office of Civil Defense and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
The volcano’s crater has been clogged with debris for a couple of weeks now making the magma chamber more volatile.
Laguerta earlier told The Manila Times that with the current unrest of Mayon even a small amount of rainwater that might dribble within the oozing conduit of volcano’s cleft will compel a bombastic explosion.
The restlessness of Mayon is even disturbing because the repose is very significant with continuous plunging of sulfur dioxide emission from more than 1,000 to 308 tons per day now posted at 138 tons with one rock fall event for the past 24-hour.
While the SO2 is diving significantly the edifice inflation on the other hand is swollen or inflated tremendously. Mayon Volcano remains in alert level 3, which means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks.
Cedric Daep, chief of Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) said if Phivolcs raised the alert status of Mayon from level 3 to alert level 4, they will enforce the evacuation of residents in Legazpi living within the 8-km danger zone.
At least four barangays such as Buyuan, Mabinit, Matanag and Bonga will be evacuated by the government forces once level 4 status is hoisted by Phivolcs.
At least 12,462 families or 56,125 people living in six to seven kilometer danger zones were evacuated by government forces forcibly and currently staying in various temporary shelters for safety.
The evacuees will be staying in temporary shelters until Phivolcs lifted the abnormal status of Mayon.