Manila Bulletin

Mayon emits white steam-laden plumes; 10 volcanic quakes reported

- By ELLALYN DE VERA –RUIZ

Mayon Volcano had one rockfall event and 10 volcanic earthquake­s during its 24-hour observatio­n period - from 8 a.m., Tuesday, March 2 to 8 a.m., Wednesday, March 3.

In its volcano bulletin issued on Wednesday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanolog­y and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded 1.1-magnitude to 3.1-magnitude volcanic earthquake­s, with the strongest recorded at 7:41 a.m. on Tuesday.

The strongest quake was felt at Intensity I in the center of the municipali­ty of Sto. Domingo in Albay province.

Phivolcs also observed that activity at Mayon Volcano's crater consisted of moderate emission of white steam-laden plumes that crept downslope before drifting west and west-southwest.

"Faint crater glow could also be observed during night time," it said.

Phivolcs last measured the sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission at an average of 222 tonnes/day on February 25, 2021.

"Ground deformatio­n data from continuous GPS (global positionin­g system) monitoring indicate that the edifice is still inflated relative to July 2019 despite a period of general deflation since July-August 2020, and has been undergoing shortterm inflation since November 2020. Deflation of the edifice with shortterm inflation of the northweste­rn slopes since December 2020 has also been recorded by electronic tilt monitoring," it said.

With these observatio­ns, Mayon Volcano remains under Alert Level 1, which means that it is at an "abnormal condition."

"Although this means that presently no magmatic eruption is imminent, it is strongly advised that the public refrain from entering the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone (PDZ) due to the perennial life-threatenin­g dangers of rockfalls, landslides/avalanches at the middle to upper slope, sudden ash puffs and steam-driven or phreatic eruptions from the summit," Phivolcs said.

"Active stream/river channels and those identified as perenniall­y lahar-prone areas on all sectors of the volcano should also be avoided especially during extreme weather conditions when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall," it added.

Taal Volcano

Moreover, based on Phivolcs monitoring in the past 24 hours, Taal Volcano had one volcanic earthquake and five volcanic tremor episodes with durations ranging from one minute to three minutes.

Temperatur­e highs of 74.6 degrees Celsius and pH of 1.59 were last measured from the main crater lake, respective­ly, on Feb. 18 and Feb. 12, 2021, Phivolcs added.

"Ground deformatio­n parameters from continuous electronic tilt on volcano island record a slight deflation around the main crater since October 2020, but overall, very slow and steady inflation of the Taal region has been recorded by continuous GPS data after the eruption," it noted.

Taal Volcano also remains under Alert Level 1 due to possible sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquake­s, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulati­ons or expulsions of volcanic gas that can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano island.

Phivolcs strongly discourage­s entry into the Taal volcano island, which is a permanent danger zone, especially the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure.

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