Phivolcs lowers further Mayon volcano alert level


Posted at Mar 02 2010 11:15 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2010 07:15 AM

MANILA, Philippines - After almost one and a half month at Alert Level 2, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Tuesday has lowered the alert level for Mayon Volcano in the Bicol region.

Phivolcs said that only 5 volcanic quakes were being recorded daily. In a bulletin on the lowering to Alert Level 1 from Alert Level 2, Phivolcs said volcanic tremors associated with magma movement within the volcano conduit have became “scarce and sometimes not recorded at all.”

The government vulcanology and seismology agency also said it measured the daily emission rate tons of sulfur dioxide at 110 up to 2,021 in the period from January 13 to March 2010. It said that the rate is consistent with a “post-eruptive gas emission rate” of the volcano.

Phivolcs said that these suggest that the condition of Mayon Volcano “is improving and likely heading towards normalcy” and that “eruption is not imminent.”

Alert Level 3 was raised by Phivolcs mid-December 2008 after Mayon’s restiveness indicated the possibility of a dangerous eruption, prompting massive evacuations in the area during the Christmas and New Year periods. By mid-January 2010, the alert level was lowered to Alert Level 2.

The government agency, however reminded the public that the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) remains off-limits due to a continuing threat from sudden small explosions and rock falls from the upper and middle slopes of the volcano.

It also said that river channels and those areas perennially identified as lahar prone in the southeast sector are to be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall. With a report by Thea Omelan, ABS-CBN Naga