• Volcanologists continue to monitor Mayon

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    Mayon volcano appears calm, but it is currently restive and may erupt anytime. Phivolcs raised alert level 1 over the area due to observed abnormal conditions following the sudden explosion in May that killed a Filipino and four European mountaineers. PHOTO BY RHAYDZ B. BARCIA

    STATE volcanologists continue to monitor the situation at the Mayon Volcano in Bicol, as they tallied at least one rockfall event in the last 24 hours.

    According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), Mayon’s seismic network recorded one rockfall-related event and moderate emission of white steam plumes drifting northwest and west-southwest.

    “Faint crater glow [Intensity 1] was observed [Saturday] night. Sulfur dioxide emission on 01 June 2013 was measured at an average of 131 tons a day,” it said.

    The agency, moreover, said that a ground deformation survey on the third week of May showed slight inflation of the edifice compared to February 2012.

    Phivolcs said that, Mayon’s alert status remains at Alert Level 1, which means that it is in an abnormal condition.

    “Although this means that presently no magmatic eruption is imminent, it is strongly advised that the public refrain from entering the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone due to the perennial life-threatening dangers of rockfalls, landslides or avalanches at the middle to upper slope, sudden ash puffs and steam-driven or phreatic eruptions from the summit,” it said.

    Meanwhile, Malacañang on Sunday warned the public not to enter the six-kilometer permanent danger zone around the volcano.

    In a radio interview, Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said, “We’d like to remind everyone that the six-kilometer permanent danger zone should be a ‘no entry zone’ to the public because of the danger of possible phreatic explosions, or ash plumes, or rock falls.”

    Phivolcs also warned the public to avoid active stream or river channels and areas identified as perennially lahar-prone.

    Classes in schools near Mayon are expected to resume today, as there is still no advisory on whether they should be suspended would be suspended.

    On May 7, Mayon spewed a giant ash cloud and hail of rocks, killing four foreign climbers and their Filipino guide.

    While the volcano does not show signs of an imminent eruption, it could experience another ash explosion or even volcanic quakes that could endanger climbers.

    The 2,460-meter Mayon Volcano is famed for its near-perfect cone but has a long history of deadly eruptions.

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