Mayon quiets down yet again; not yet time to raise alert level

By , on October 15, 2014

Mayon Volcano eruption on December 29, 2009. Tryfon Topalidis / Wikipedia photo
Mayon Volcano eruption on December 29, 2009. Tryfon Topalidis / Wikipedia photo

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines— Fresh lava once more spewed from Mayon Volcano on Sunday, raising renewed fears of eruption. But volcanic activity is now expected to quiet down again, and the lava flow has ceased for the time being, the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

Eduardo Laguerta, Legazpi City’s resident volcanologist said: “The volcano is building up pressure again after the lava flow has stopped,” adding the “pressure of the volcano now is not enough to again push the magma to the upper portion.”

Laguerta explained that the magma inside the volcano was moving up slowly, thereby resulting in the 350-meter lava flow observed on the eastern side of Bonga Gully on Sunday.

At this point, Laguerta said, it may still be pre-emptive to raise the alert level, as the volcano remains swollen due to a big volume of magma slowly moving up the crater. This, however, is indicative of an impending eruption, he noted, with Philvolcs recording two volcanic earthquakes and four rockfall events on Tuesday morning.

On September 15, the local government unit evacuated 54,693 people from the towns of Guinobatan, Malilipot, Camalig, Daraga, Sto Domingo and the cities of Ligao and Tabaco as Mayon’s alert level was raised to 3.

This prompted the national government to deliver relief goods and food packages by caravan to Albay; some of which had already gone bad when the delivery was received on Sunday.

Arnel Garcia, director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Bicol, clarified, however, that “only 0.1 percent” (32 food packages) of the 22,450 packs delivered were spoiled.

He surmised that the food spoiled during the weekend delivery.

“All of these were released but we assure that we will replace these,” he said.