Phivolcs: Lava pouring out of Mayon less violent than explosive eruptions

Phivolcs: Lava pouring out of Mayon less violent than explosive eruptions
Mount Mayon spews lava during an eruption near Legazpi city in Albay province, south of Manila on June 11, 2023. Charism Sayat / AFP

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:42 a.m.) — The lava flow seen spilling out of Mayon Volcano late Sunday night is a type of eruption less violent compared to the explosive eruptions experienced in the past, an official of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.

Speaking on CNN's The Source, Phivolcs Director Teresito Bacolcol said Monday that Mayon Volcano had an “effusive eruption” Sunday night, which involves the relatively slow release of magma onto the volcano's edifice.

“Lava is being poured out from the vent. It’s slow-moving. It’s what we call an effusive eruption. The magma being shown here is low in gas content and it flows out of the volcano,” Bacolcol said.

“Effusive eruptions are generally less violent and will produce less ash and volcanic gases compared to explosive eruptions,” he added.

In a tweet on Sunday, Phivolcs said lava flow from Mayon's summit crater began at 7:47 p.m. on June 11. 

“The lava flow has reached 500 meters from the summit. That’s the extent of the lava flow,” Bacolcol said.

Public urged to monitor updates

There is also “no truth” that Alert Level 4 will be raised on Monday following increased lava activity in the volcano’s crater, Bacolcol said, adding that state volcanologists are closely monitoring the situation on a day-to-day basis to provide the public with updates.

FOLLOW: LIVE updates: Mayon Volcano restiveness

In the past 24 hours, state volcanologists have recorded 21 volcanic earthquakes and 260 rockfall events as well as lava flow activity on the summit crater, according to Phivolcs’ latest bulletin for Mayon Volcano.

Phivolcs raised the alert level for Mayon to Level 3 on Thursday, indicating a high level of unrest and an increased possibility of a hazardous eruption within weeks or days.

Phivolcs has recommended that the six-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone surrounding Mayon be evacuated due to the risk posed by volcanic hazards.

The Mayon Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, with a history of numerous eruptions. The last major eruption occurred in 2018, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate their homes. — Cristina Chi

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