Phivolcs warns of Mayon’s possible crater collapse


LEGAZPI CITY, Albay: The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Monday warned of a possible collapse of Mayon Volcano’s crater, which is clogged with protruding lava dome.

Eduardo Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist chief in Bicol, said that based on Sunday’s aerial survey, it was observed that the condensed lava dome is getting bigger and almost even with the volcano’s crater wall but a noticeable crack on both sides of the dome might cause the possible collapse.

“As the lava dome solidifies, the weaker part of crater wall might collapse due to explosion and this scenario could cause scattered pyroclastic flow all around the volcano. This is very dangerous once occurs specifically if the evacuees keep on returning to no man’s land zone,” Laguerta told The Manila Times.

“Mayon Volcano has a lot of characteristics compared to other volcanoes. It could erupt strombolian type, an episode that heals to perfect her shape like a facelift or a vulcanian type this is very hazardous because of pyroclastic flow but the worst eruption is plinian type like the 1814 and 1897 episode of eruptions,” he explained.

Office of Civil Defense Regional Director Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro told local officials, disaster responders and the people living near the volcano to prepare as Mayon Volcano is a deceiving beauty.

“Don’t be deceived by its calm appearance because the real danger of the volcano is beneath her belly with disconcerting magma build up towards the crater that might be ejected anytime once triggered by rainwater due to leaching or magmatic related event,” Alejandro stressed.

He said that once alert level 4 is raised, about 12,000 people living in the southeast quadrant of Mayon in Legazpi City will be evacuated by government troops.

“There are 27 vehicles ready to be used in case level 4 is raised. About 12,000 people will be evacuated but we’re on the process of counter checking the numbers. Water and power connections in six kilometer danger zones will also be cut-off for the people in that area not to go back in the no man’s land zone,” Alejandro said.

“The national government have enough resources to support Albay for affected communities. That’s why we’re giving their food requirement everyday just to keep them away from danger zone,” he added.


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