LEGAZPI CITY—The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised Alert Level 1 over Mayon Volcano in Albay province after it recorded 25 volcanic earthquakes on Monday and the sulfur-dioxide (SO2) emission went significantly higher than the standard measurement.
In its latest bulletin, Phivolcs said the quakes that rocked the volcano on Monday and the spewing of an above normal SO2 gas signify the volcano remains restive. SO2 emission was measured at 633 tons, which is significantly higher than the standard measurement of 500 per day
The volcanic quakes brings to 91 the total number of quakes that jolted Mount Mayon for the past two days.
When asked about the increasing SO2 emission, Phivolcs volcanologist Ed Laguerta said the abnormal emission could either be due to steam degassing or magma pressure beneath the volcano vent.
“Aside from the quakes and the abnormal rate of SO2 emitted by the volcano, we are still validating other given parameters using other instruments,” Laguerta said.
The parameters directly associated with eruptions include earthquakes, gas emission, dome growth, crater glow, lava flow, pyroclastic flows and ash fall.
In an interview, Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office executive director, said with the elevated abnormal behavior of Mount Mayon, disaster authorities would strictly enforce the “no human activity” protocol inside the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone (PDZ).
Daep said visitors, as well as villages living close to the 6-km PDZ, are prohibited from climbing to the Mayon crater.
He said while the Alert Level 1 (abnormal condition) is hoisted over the volcano, those residents living outside the 6-km PDZ could continue with their normal activities in towns and cities surrounding the volcano.