Mayon Volcano’s faint glow causes some alarm online

January 22, 2021 - 5:39 PM
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One of the photos of Mayon Volcano from DOST-PHIVOLCS via Facebook (DOST-PHIVOLCS/Released)

Mayon Volcano‘s faint crater glow that the state seismologists posted on social media triggered some alarm among Filipinos, particularly those who reside near the area.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology shared on Thursday, January 21 photos of the summit of Mayon Volcano exhibiting a faint glow.

The organization also stated it has been recording volcanic earthquakes there since January 20.

“Faint crater glow at the summit of Mayon Volcano. Mayon has been at Alert Level 1 since July 17, 2020 and recorded 10 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes yesterday, January 20, 2021,” the post read.

In its volcano bulletin, Phivolcs detailed its observations on the volcano in the past 24 hours.

“Moderate emission of white steam-laden plumes that crept downslope before drifting to the general north was observed. Faint crater glow from the summit could be observed at night,” it read.

Phivolcs also reiterated that it is currently at Alert Level 1 or in an “abnormal condition,” therefore, prohibits them from entering the 6-kilometer radius permanent danger zone (PDZ).

“Although this means that presently no magmatic eruption is imminent, it is strongly advised that the public refrain from entering the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) due to the perennial life-threatening dangers of rock falls, landslides/avalanches at the middle to upper slope, sudden ash puffs and steam-driven or phreatic eruptions from the summit,” it said.

“Active stream/river channels and those identified as perennially lahar-prone areas on all sectors of the volcano should also be avoided especially during extreme weather conditions when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall,” it added.

State seismologists assured the public that they are closely monitoring Mt. Mayon and will immediately inform them for updates.

Located in the province of Albay, Mayon is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines.

In the website of the Smithsonian Institution, Mayon’s last recorded eruption was in January 13, 2018 wherein it “consisted of phreatic explosions, steam-and-ash plumes, lava fountaining, and pyroclastic flows.”

There were also “small but distinct” activities between May and October 2019.

Then, in April of last year, Phivolcs reported that Mayon emitted white steam plumes as high as 400 meters.

Same month as last year’s Taal eruption

Despite the alert level not indicating an imminent eruption, the photos themselves caused alarm and concern to some Filipinos, particularly to those who live near the volcano.

Facebook comment on Mayon Volcano development (Retrieved on January 22)
Facebook comment on Mayon Volcano development (Retrieved on January 22)

Some appealed for prayers and expressed hope that it will not erupt anytime soon given the current health and economic crisis.

A Twitter user observed a similar situation with tragic Taal eruption in January of last year.

Last January 12, some Filipinos, including photojournalists and spectators, commemorated the historic event’s anniversary that left 39 people dead and displaced thousands more.

The phreatic explosion also spewed ashes across Luzon such as in the National Capital Region, Ilocos and Central Luzon.