Philippines raises volcano alert level as eruptions spew ash

From Reuters - January 13, 2018

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines raised the alert at its restive Mayon volcano by one notch early on Sunday, citing signs of rising magma that could lead to hazardous eruptions.

Residents were evacuated from two villages near the volcano, a tourist attraction in Albay province because of its near-perfect cone shape, following a phreatic or steam-driven eruption on Saturday, and there was a further eruption on Sunday.

Saturdays eruption unleashed ash, rocks and sulfuric odor, and was followed by rumbling sounds and a faint glow in the crater, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

Phivolcs raised the alert to level 2, which means that the current activity is probably of magmatic origin, which could lead to more phreatic eruptions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruptions.

A second ash eruption was recorded before noon on Sunday,but Phivolcs said in a subsequent bulletin that it was maintaining alert level 2.

Mayons most destructive eruption was in February 1841, when lava flows buried a town and killed 1,200 people. It last erupted in 2014, spewing lava and forcing thousands of people to evacuate.

The public is strongly advised to be vigilant and desist from entering the six kilometer (3.7 mile) radius Permanent Danger Zone to minimize risks from sudden explosions, rockfall and landslides, Phivolcs said.


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