Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Phivolcs closely monitoring Mayon Volcano

LEGAZPI CITY, June 3 (PNA) -- The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is closely monitoring the behavior of Mayon Volcano by continuously conducting an aerial survey since the volcano has been exhibiting some indications of restiveness.

One indicator was the intense crater glow observed by the Phivolcs and some residents, especially those living at the foot of the volcano.

Alex Baloloy, Phivolcs science and research analyst, said they find it hard to monitor the volcano's current behavior because of the weather condition.

"We are monitoring its activity through seismic observation, ground deformation and visual observation," Baloloy said, adding that the ground formation at the Mayon is still inflated.

He claimed that they are also doing "nocturnal observation" for sightings of possible crater glow.

Phivolcs is also monitoring the sulfur dioxide emission from the crater, although it is still below the normal volume of 500 tons per day, and the volcanic quakes recorded.

"If ever there is a voluminous emission or steaming, this would be an indication of a rising of magma," Baloloy added.

Mayon Volcano status remains at Alert Level 1, which means it is in abnormal condition but no magmatic eruption is imminent at present.

Baloloy strongly advised the villagers not to enter the six-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone due to the perennial life-threatening dangers of rockfalls, landslides/avalanches at the middle to upper slope, sudden ash puffs and steam-driver phreatic eruptions from the summit.

It was on May 7, 2013 when five people were killed when the Mayon Volcano spewed ash and boulders brought about by a phreatic eruption.

Active stream and river channels and those identified as perennially lahar-prone areas on all areas of the volcano should also be avoided, especially during extreme weather conditions where there is heavy and prolonged rainfall.(PNA) FPV/FGS/AMM/CBD/