A deadly volcano in the Philippines is showing signs it may erupt soon, the country’s Department of Science and Technology (DOSAT) warned late Sunday. The threat associated with the Mayon Volcano was increased from Level 2 to Level 3, and by Monday morning, a pyroclastic flow was seen on the mountain’s slopes as well.
In a bulletin issued 8 p.m. Sunday local time (7 a.m. EST), which raised the alert level, DOSAT’s Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PIVS) said: “After three (3) phreatic (steam-driven) eruptions and 158 rockfall events between 4:21 PM 13 January and 7:25 PM 14 January, Mayon’s summit crater is now exhibiting bright crater glow that signifies the growth of a new lava dome and beginnings of lava flow towards the southern slopes.”
About 1,000 families in the vicinity of the volcano have already been evacuated. PIVS also added in the bulletin an expected timeline for the eruption, and enlarged the evacuation area.
“Mayon is exhibiting relatively high unrest and that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or even days. It is therefore recommended that the 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and a 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the southern flank be enforced due to the danger of rockfalls, landslides and sudden explosions or dome collapse that may generate hazardous volcanic flows. Increased vigilance against pyroclastic density currents, lahars and sediment-laden streamflows along channels draining the edifice is also advised,” it said.