LEGAZPI CITY—State volcanologists said Saturday that they are observing Mayon Volcano to determine whether its Alert Level 4 status can be lowered as it exhibits “general quiescence” or inactivity.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), that although Mayon’s lower slope has started to deflate since February 20, overall, the volcano is still swollen.
Deflation is an indication that the volcano has less magma supply.
Mariton Bornas, chief Phivolcs’ Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division, said that although ash plumes were recorded Thursday, it should continue for two to three days before they can reset the two-week observation.
Since Friday, the volcano has only been emitting steam-laden plumes or columns that are made of greater quantity of gas compared to ash.
“If the trend continues to go down we may stand down to Alert 3 even after a week, but stand down from Alert 3 to 2 may take a few more weeks,” Bornas said.
She added that from Alert Level 2 to 1, the observation takes longer.
She however explained that Phivolcs is not discounting possibilities of eruptive activity due to a “still considerable” amount of sulfur dioxide emission.
Phivolcs measured Mayon’s sulfur dioxide emission at an average of 1,403 tonnes per day on Friday.
127 volcanic earthquakes have been recorded in the last 24-hour observation, according to a bulletin Phivolcs released Friday morning.
61,134 Bicolanos (15,849 families), who are still prohibited from entering the 8-kilometer danger zone, remain inside 57 evacuation centers in Legazpi City, Tabaco City, Ligao City, Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Sto. Domingo , and Malilipot.
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