By Martin Sadongdong
After the steam-driven eruption of Taal volcano last month, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Wednesday urged the public to be alert as a “crater glow” is seen at Mayon Volcano in Albay early February.
NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said that since the end of Mayon’s magmatic eruption in 2018, it has exhibited a “declining” earthquake activity and sulfur dioxide emissions but a slight swelling or inflation of the volcano has since been noted.
“In the past two days, crater glow has been detected at the summit crater that is likely caused by hot magmatic gases heating the overlaying atmosphere,” Jalad said in an advisory.
“This suggests the possibility that remnant magma may be quietly rising to the shallow levels of the edifice,” he added.
As such, Jalad reminded the public that Alert Level 2 remains hoisted over Mayon volcano which means that it is still at a “moderate level of unrest.”
Thus, Jalad said it is “strongly recommended” that entry into the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone and the precautionary seven-kilometer radius extended danger zone of Mayon is prohibited.
The area covers the south-southwest to north-northeast sector of Mayon, stretching from Barangay Anoling in Camalig town to Barangay Sta. Mesirecordia in Santo Domingo town.
“The public is reminded that sudden explosions, lava collapse, pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) and ashfall can occur without warning and threaten areas in the upper to middle slopes of Mayon,” Jalad said.
Families residing in the danger zone were also advised to be wary of rockfalls, PDCs and ashfall.
Lahar-prone areas and active streams or rivers should also be avoided especially during extreme weather or heavy rainfall.
Meanwhile, Jalad said civil aviation authorities must warn pilots against flying near the volcano’s summit to avoid engagement caused by possible sudden explosions.
The last time Mayon had magmatic eruption was in January 2018 which ended in March of that year. Meanwhile, Taal had a steam-driven eruption on January 12 this year.