Alert Level 4 raised over Mayon Volcano

Image via Facebook  Ciriaco Santiago III

Image via Facebook Ciriaco Santiago III

Authorities in the Philippines are warning residents of the imminent and potentially risky eruption of the country's most active volcano. In the past 40 years or so, about 100 people have been killed due to Mayon's eruptions, but over 1,000 have died due to indirect consequences from the volcano's activity.

In a situational report as of 8 a.m. Monday, January 22, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the seismic monitoring network for Mayon has monitored one incident of pyroclastic flow, 64 rockfall events and three episodes of volcanic earthquakes, included two that caused lava fountaining.

Mayon Volcano in the Philippines erupted in a massive ash cloud Monday afternoon local time, prompting the threat associated with the deadly volcano to be raised from Level 3 to Level 4 by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVLOCS).

"We strongly advise all people, both residents and tourists, to avoid the danger zone, and airlines to avoid flying near the volcano summit", agency chief Renato Solidum told a news conference. Pyroclastic flows are superheated gas and volcanic debris that can race down slopes and incinerate everything in their path, and are feared in a major eruption. The crater began glowing soon after in what PHIVOLCS said was a sign of the growth of a new lava dome.

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It has already spewed ash, lava, molten rock and steam into the air, darkening the villages below it.

Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines, which, like many other countries in the region, is home to a large number of volcanoes.

Mayon lies in coconut-growing Albay province about 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila. Mayon's first recorded eruption was in 1616 and the most destructive in 1814 killed 1,200 people and buried the town of Cagsawa in volcanic mud.

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