119 volcanic quakes recorded as Mayon continues to spew lava, pyroclastic materials

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Lava flows from the crater of Mayon Volcano as seen from Sto. Domingo, Albay. (photo by Krizjohn Rosales, PhilStar)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Tuesday it had recorded 119 volcanic earthquakes overnight, as well as nine tremor events it said corresponded to lava fountaining events, as Albay’s Mayon Volcano remained restive and under Alert Level 4, meaning a hazardous eruption remains a possibility.

Phivolcs’ latest Mayon bulletin said two “distinct episodes” of pyroclastic density currents, locally known as “uson,” generated by the collapse of lava domes, and 68 rockfall events.

The agency said “energetic lava effusion with sporadic lava fountaining events and generation of lava-collapse fed pyroclastic density currents or” began at 7:30 p.m. and lasted until 11:06 p.m.

The lava fountains “reached 200 meters high and generated ash plumes that reached 1.5 kilometers above the crater” and caused “significant” ashfall in Camalig and Guinobatan towns, Phivolcs added.

As of Monday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Mayon’s eruptions have displaced 22,918 families, or 89,962 persons, from 59 barangays in Bacacay, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao City, Daraga, Tabaco, Malilipot, Santo Domingo and Legazpi City.

Of these, 18,291 families, or 69,425 persons, are sheltered in 74 evacuation centers.