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Crack on Mayon’s crater reported

By Celso Amo LEGAZPI CITY--- Mayon Volcano now has a crack on its crater at the southeast portion where pyroclastic density currents flow downwards. “The new observed crack on its crater was due to continuous lava flows,” said Ed Laguerta, Mayon resident volcanologist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology based at Ligñon Hill Observatory. Pyroclastic density currents, more popularly called uson, flowed from the crack which was confined within the farthest recorded reaches of 4.6 kilometers at the Miisi, 5.2 kilometers at Bonga and and 4.2 kilometers at the Basud Gullies. The old lava dome which was a remnant of Mayon Volcano’s eruption in 2014 was pulverized by strong eruption after January 13 but continuous lava flows thereafter allowed the volcano to make a “facelift” at its crater which was observed on January 18 at Alert Level 3. Laguerta said about 62 million cubic meters of volcanic debris has been extruded by Mayon Volcano since the start of its eruption on January 13 this year. “The present eruption of Mayon has almost plateaued,” said Laguerta. He said a team of Phivolcs scientists are now conducting a survey to assess the critical parameters of the volcano such as inflation, the sulfur gas emission, and volcanic quakes to assess its present eruption status. He also called the present 8-kilometer extended danger zone around the 2,462-meter volcano “cautious” after Phivolcs director Renato Solidum warned last Friday that pyroclastic density currents from a possible strong eruption could reach five kilometers and beyond.. “We will come up with a new assessment this week after a new survey will be complete today or on Wednesday which will be our basis to maintain or lower the present Alert Level 4,” said Laguerta. He said the present physical aspect of the volcano is quiet but the instruments showed an abnormality inside. “So we have to closely monitor the volcano especially what is inside which can only be detected by scientific instruments,” Laguerta said. “The physical aspect of the volcano is quiet but the instruments showed an abnormality inside that we can say after a few hours the volcano erupted but was not observed due to thick clouds at the crater summit,” Laguerta said. “So we have to closely monitor the volcano especially what is inside which can only be detected by scientific instruments,” Laguerta said. Mayon’s activity in the past 24 hours was characterized by sporadic and weak lava fountaining, lava flow and degassing from the summit crater. As of 4:05 a.m. on Tuesday, fifty-six discrete lava fountaining episodes that lasted five to sixty-two minutes were recorded by the seismic network. One lava collapse pyroclastic density current (PDC) event that generated white to dirty white plume was visually observed yesterday at 6:16 a.m. along the Basud Gully. Lava flow sustained at 3.3 kilometers, 4.5 kilometers and 900 meters on the Miisi, Bonga and Basud Gullies from the summit crater, respectively. A total of seventy-two volcanic earthquakes, corresponding to lava fountaining and tremor events, was recorded by Mayon’s seismic monitoring network. Sulfur dioxide emission averaged 2,148 tons day on 19 February 2018. Electronic tilt and continuous GPS still record sustained swelling or inflation of the edifice since November and October 2017, consistent with pressurization by magmatic intrusion. Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Francis Tolentino’s flight to Legazpi City Tuesday morning was cancelled due to inclement weather due to easterlies. He was set to preside over a meeting at Camp General Simeon Ola on the various support services from local and national agencies. Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Claudio Yucot instead presided over the meeting. The Albay Provincial Security and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) said there are 17,346 families or 66,097 persons inside 60 evacuation centers in Legazpi City,Licao City, Tabaco City, and the towns of Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Bacacay, Malilipot, and Sto. Domingo. National Food Authority (NFA) Albay Manager Nelsie Alcantara said the agency has released a total of 38,070 bags to the evacuation centers. Evacuation centers in Camalig received 350 bags, Daraga 300 bags, Guinobatan 200 bags, Legazpi City 2,680 bags, Libon 200 bags, Ligao City 450 bags, Malilipot 300 bags, Polangui 200 bags, Sto.Domingo 300 bags, Tabaco City 1,600 bags, Albay Provincial Government 8,300 bags, City government of Valenzuela 400 bags, Sangguniang Barangay 82 bags, AKO Bicol 78 bags, Congressman Joey Salceda 4,250 bags, Office of Vice President Leni Robredo 320 bags, Magdalo Partylist 6 bags, Secretary Francis Tolentino 20 bags, Prime Water six bags, Pawanggawa Foundation 38 bags, Commerce and Industry 50 bags, DPWH 50 bags, NGO 150 bags, OCD 5,000 bags, South Bicol Conference 800 bags, and DSWD 1,555 bags. Meanwhile, Alert Level 4 remains in effect over Mayon Volcano. The public is strongly advised to be vigilant and desist from entering the eight (8) kilometer-radius danger zone, and to be additionally vigilant against pyroclastic density currents, lahars and sediment-laden stream flows along channels draining the edifice. Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.

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