LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Alert Level 3 is still in effect over Mayon Volcano, with slime chances of lowering it soon based on the geodetic and geo-chemical records of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the agency’s resident volcanologist, Eduardo Laguerta, said.
At a media briefing at the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office Friday, Laguerta said the edifice of Mayon continues to swell based on the latest ground deformation survey done by the Phivolcs geodetic team.
Aside from this, he said sulfur dioxide gas emissions averaged 1,478 tons/day during the past 24 hours.
“The criteria of Mayon is above the parameters of Alert Level 2. For this, we cannot lower the level,” Laguerta said.
Mayon was placed under Alert Level 3, meaning an “increased tendency toward eruption,” early this week after it stared ejecting pyroclastic material and lava.
Laguerta said the pyroclastic material is superheated, at least 1,000 degrees Celsius, and could travel 100 kilometers per hour, increasing due to Mayon’s steep slopes.
“It will take years before the volcanic materials will cool down,” he said.
The lava flow in the Missi Gully on Mayon’s flank has advanced to some three kilometers from the summit crater, still well within the permanent danger zone around the volcano.
Albay was also declared in a state of calamity.
Although evacuations had been going on all week, residents from outside the danger zone had been allowed to return home but warned to remain on alert following an easing of volcanic acivity.