By Raydes B. Barcia

Legazpi City – As the restive Mayon Volcano is continuously glowing, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is conducting a ground survey to check for possible magma ascent.

Paul Alanis, Phivolcs resident volcanologist chief in Bicol said that Mayon Volcano continuously showed a crater glow.

Alanis said that there is an ongoing ground deformation survey to check if there is sign of magma build up. Thus, they are checking if the lava dome within the summit of the volcano is getting bigger.

“We have an ongoing ground deformation survey to check if there is a sign of magma ascent. We will do analysis as soon as the ground deformation survey is done. We are also double checking if the lava dome is growing,” he said.

Alanis warned of a potential pyroclastic collapse, noting Mayon’s growing and protruding lava dome. He said the lava dome has grown to 48,000 cubic meters from the 40,000 cubic meters recorded in 2019.

Mayon Volcano bulletin recorded volcanic quakes and faint crater glow. Last October 2022, Phivolcs raised the alert status of Mayon Volcano to alert level 11.

Due to this, the Albay provincial government during the incumbency then of governor Noel Rosal ordered the local governments around Mayon Volcano to strictly enforce the prohibition on all activities within the restive volcano’s six-kilometer permanent danger zone (PDZ).

The provincial government also directed the barangay officials to account for families living in the extended 7 to 8-kilometer danger zone so the province can assign evacuation camps should the Phivolcs raise Mayon’s current Alert Level.

The provincial government also issued a memorandum directing the towns and cities, especially on the southern side of Mayon, to review their action plans for Alert Level 3 and start coordinating conferences with local Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) councils and local stakeholders.

Even under Alert Level 2, the provincial government said a threat of sediment-laden streamflows and lahar during prolonged and heavy rainfall reaching 40-60 mm/hour.

The areas under tight watch in the 6-kilometer PDZ are Barangay Lidong in Sto Domingo, upper areas of Padang, Buyuan, Matanag, Bonga and Mabinit in Legazpi City; Bañadero, Matnog, Salvacion, Misi and Malobago in Daraga; and Quirangay, Tumpa, Sua, Anoling and Tinubran in Camalig.

In Guinobatan town, the areas are Maninila, Muladbucad Grande, Pequeno and Tadarora; Baligang and Amtic in Ligao City; Magapo, Buang and Buhian in Tabaco City; and Canaway, Calbayog, and upper San Roque in Malilipot town.

The provincial government of Albay also asked local watch teams to prevent visitors, tourists, and locals from mountain climbing, orchid picking, hiking, camping, and other related recreational activities. (Raydes B. Barcia)

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