Mayon volcano spews ash and lava in Legazpi City, Albay province, Philippines, 18 June 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

Activity of Philippines’ Mayon volcano heats up

Manila, Jul 19 (EFE).- The seismic activity of Mayon volcano has increased again in recent hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned Wednesday.

Mayon volcano spews ashes and lava in the town of Camalig, Albay province, Philippines, 16 June 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

The volcano, the country’s most active and which has forced the evacuation of thousands of people in the northeast of the country, registered a total of 304 tremors in the past 24 hours, 137 rockfall events and three pyroclastic density currents (flows of ash and debris), according to Phivolcs.

“Slow effusion of lava from the summit crater of Mayon Volcano continued to feed and bulk up established lava flows,” it said.

“Alert Level 3 is maintained over Mayon Volcano, which means that it is currently in a relatively high level of unrest and hazardous eruption within weeks or even days could still be possible.”

In addition, Phivolcs recommended that the authorities in the province of Albay, where the volcano is located, prepare for the evacuation of hundreds more people if the alert goes up to 4 (out of 5), which would imply expanding the 6-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone radius to 8 km.

The Ministry of Health reported Monday that at least 1,624 residents who were temporarily evacuated in Albay suffered from acute respiratory infections due to the volcano’s emissions.

Phivolcs also reported that heavy rainfall expected in the area this week would increase the risk of sediment-laden streamflows and lahars.

Mayon volcano spews ashes and lava in Legazpi city, Albay province, Philippines, 17 June 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

Due to the beauty of its almost perfect conical shape, Mayon is also one of the big tourist attractions of the area.

Its last eruption occurred in 2018, when more than 75,000 people had to be evacuated.

Mayon’s deadliest eruption occurred in 1814, when some 1,200 people died, according to estimates published by Phivolcs. EFE