THREE LAVA COLLAPSES RECORDED AT MAYON VOLCANO
By Amita Legaspi
State volcanologists recorded three lava collapses at Mayon Volcano on Monday morning, January 15 that resulted in rockfall and small-volume pyroclastic density currents.
A bulletin from Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) stated that the lava collapses occurred at 9:41 a.m., lasting five minutes; 10:05 a.m., lasting seven minutes; and 11:07 a.m., lasting eight minutes, based on seismic record.
It said the first two events appear to have originated from the lava front and produced an ash cloud that drifted to the southwest sector and rained ash on the barangays of Travesia, Muladbucad Grande, Maninila, and Masarawag in the municipality of Guinobatan.
The third event produced a grayish to dirty white ash column with a maximum height of approximately one kilometer above the summit before drifting west-southwest.
Alert Level 3 remains in effect, meaning that the volcano is currently in a relatively high level of unrest as magma is at the crater and hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or even days.
State volcanologists strongly advised the public to be vigilant and desist from entering the six kilometer-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and the seven-kilometer Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on Mayon's southern flanks due to the danger of rockfalls, landslides and sudden explosions or dome collapse that may generate hazardous volcanic flows.
Increased vigilance against pyroclastic density currents, lahars and sediment-laden streamflows along channels draining the edifice is also advised. Pilots were advised to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.
The bulletin said based on the seasonal wind pattern, ash fall events may most likely occur on the southwest side of the volcano./MP