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OCD: No direct damage from Mayon’s phreatic eruption

By Connie Calipay


LEGAZPI CITY --- The Office of Civil Defense in Bicol (OCD-5) on Monday said no direct damage was reported by different local government units after Mayon Volcano’s phreatic eruption on Sunday afternoon.


In an interview, Gremil Alexis Naz, OCD Bicol spokesperson, said they are monitoring and coordinating with the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) and seven LGUs for any possible needed support.


“No other related incidents were reported as of Monday to our office. We continue to coordinate with other government agencies, particularly with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) as to the status of Mayon Volcano,” he said.


Phivolcs reported a “phreatic eruption from the Mayon Volcano summit” at 4:37 p.m. Sunday, which lasted 4 minutes and 9 seconds, and generated a booming sound, rockfall, pyroclastic density currents, and a 1,200 meter-tall plume that drifted to the southwest.


PHREATIC ERUPTION. Mayon Volcano’s phreatic eruption at 4:37 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 4, 2024). The event generated a booming sound, rockfall, pyroclastic density currents and a 1,200-meter-tall plume that drifted to the southwest, according to Phivolcs. (Photo courtesy of Maria Salve Llantada)



Phreatic or steam-driven eruptions are sudden-onset and short-lived events and happen without warning or any precursors, according to Phivolcs. It happens when hot material comes into contact with water.


To promote public safety and maintain zero casualties, Albay Governor Edcel Lagman issued an advisory prohibiting human activities inside the permanent danger zone of Mayon Volcano.


“Due to the continuous hazard of Mayon Volcano that may lead to threats of phreatic eruption, rock fall, wall collapse and pyroclastic density current. The City and Municipal DRRMOs (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices) should maintain vigilance in their respective areas to prevent entry inside the permanent danger zone,” Lagman said.


The governor also reminded the public in the event of an ash fall, to use a face mask and or damp cloth to cover the nose and mouth.


Mayon Volcano has been under Alert Level 2 (decreased unrest) since Dec. 8, 2023.


Phivolcs also reminded aviation authorities to advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit, as ash from any sudden eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.


Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bicol (DSWD-5) has prepared 119,319 family food packs (FFPs) and 37,729 essential non-food relief items strategically stockpiled in warehouses and prepositioning sites across Bicol Region in preparation for possible relief augmentation. (PNA)

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