Mayon Volcano alert level held after ash plumes and earthquake

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Mayon Volcano
Mount Mayon as seen from the and Cagsawa Church Ruins. Picture via Wikimedia Commons.

Mayon Volcano in Albay province remains at Alert Level 2 after belching out ash plumes, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has said.

The phreatic blasts were recorded at 8.17am and 8.25am this morning (Thursday, December 27). Phivolcs did not specify the height of the plumes. An earthquake was also recorded this morning.

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Phivolcs director, Renato Solidum, said the phreatic or steam-driven explosions were triggered by a steam pressure that developed underneath the volcano’s vent.

He said that when steam mixes with lava, it builds pressure that results a phreatic eruption.

He also revealed that Phivolcs had observed a significant bulging around the midsection of Mayon Volcano.

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He added that today’s phreatic episodes, however, do not warrant the raising of the volcano’s current alert status Alert level 2 for the time being.

He also reiterated his agency’s warning for the public to keep out of the volcano’s permanent six-kilometre danger zone.

Indonesia tsunami alert

Meanwhile, in Indonesiaa, the alert level for Mount Anak Krakatau in the Sunda Strait was raised today amid increased volcanic activity.

With the increase in the alert level to siaga (watch), the danger zone has been expanded to a five-kilometre radius from the crater from the previous two kilometres.

“Residents and tourists are prohibited from approaching the crater,” the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center announced in a statement.

The agency said its monitoring posts had detected increased volcanic activity, as seen in small eruptions followed by an ash fall.

“Residents are advised to wear face masks and eye protection while doing outdoor activities,” the agency said.

Previously, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned the public to stay between 500 metres to one kilometre from the coast amid fears of another tsunami. A number of beaches in the province were struck by the Sunda Strait tsunami on Saturday night. As of Wednesday, the confirmed tsunami death toll has reached 429, but is expected to continue to rise.

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