BREAKING NEWS! Phreatic Eruption at Mayon Volcano!

Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines having erupted over 48 times in the past 400 years. The first record of a major eruption was witnessed in February 1616 by Dutch explorer Joris van Spilbergen who recorded it on his log in his circumnavigation trip around the world.

Mayon Volcano is now on phreatic eruption, also called a phreatic explosion or ultravulcanian eruption. It occurs when magma heats ground or surface water. The extreme temperature of the magma (anywhere from 500 to 1,170 °C (932 to 2,138 °F)) causes near-instantaneous evaporation to steam, resulting in an explosion of steam, water, ash, rock, and volcanic bombs.

Here’s the post from Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda, Chairman, Albay PDRRMC:

“Phivolcs Director Rene Solidum called me that at about 8am, there was an ash explosion of at least 500m in height but on precautionary warnings since it was essentially steam-driven. There are unconfirmed media reports that a casualty may have been sustained due to mountaineering (mostly conducted without notice/approval) caught surprised by the sudden volcanic behavior.
In view of this, while Mayon is on “Alert 0”, we advise the following:
1. Extra care and caution in conducting human activity in the 6-km PDZ – this includes ATV, trail runs, picnics etc.
2. We reiterate that Mayon Volcano mountaineering (or volcanoeering) is subject to prior notification to PTCAO/APSEMO/DOT”

Mayon Volcano’s last activity is on July 2009 to January 2010. Phreatic explosion like this happened last July 10, 2009 where PHIVOLCS raised the status from Alert Level 1 (low level unrest) to Alert Level 2 (moderate unrest) because the number of recorded low frequency volcanic earthquakes rose to the same level when a phreatic explosion occurred last August 2008. On January 13, 2010, PHIVOLCS reduced the alert level from 3 to 2, saying that this indicated a further reduction in the likelihood of hazardous eruption.


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Written by Mc Richard Paglicawan

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