Phivolcs: No way but towards eruption for Mayon

LEGAZPI CITY –- The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said that all indications lead to Mayon volcano towards eruption.

Resident volcanologist Eduardo Laguerta said on Monday the edifice of the volcano continues to swell, based on the latest ground deformation survey by the geodetic team, which is still ongoing.

The expert said the volume of sulfur dioxide emission continues to decrease from more than 1,000 metric tons to only more than 100 metric tons per day during the past 24-hour observation period.

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“This means that the volcano’s crater is continuously sealed and the magmatic force cannot come as it continues to ascend,” Laguerta noted.

He said what is absent now in order for the million of tons of magma to come out are continuous harmonic tremors or quakes in the volcano.

“This is the major event that is lacking for Mayon to erupt,” Laguerta said, adding that this is due to the force of magma from underneath the volcano.

Laguerta said the lava dome at the crater of Mayon is already as high as a 41-story building and when it collapse, its direction is not yet determinable as it is still soft, although the first possibility will be at the southeast quadrant of the volcano.

The veteran volcanologist said there could be two kinds of eruption that might occur – one is the pyroclastic flow collapse type that may flow down the southeast portion of the volcano and affect Legazpi City and the towns of Sto. Domingo and Daraga.

There is also a possibility that ash may fall at the northern portion or the whole surroundings of Mayon if a vulcanian eruption will occur, where there will be ash column and pyroclastic flow.

Laguerta said the pyroclastic materials are superheated at least 1,000 degrees Celsius while the flow’s speed is 100 kilometers per hour, which, he claimed, will increase due to the steepness of Mayon.

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