LAHAR THREAT RAISED IN 26 VILLAGES NEAR MAYON
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Friday (Jan. 25, 2019) at least 21 million cubic meters of lahar and 6.2 million cubic meters of molten rocks and other volcanic debris were spewed by Mayon volcano during its eruptive episodes last year.
LEGAZPI CITY — Torrential rains could dislodge a huge volume of lahar deposits along the slopes of Mount Mayon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned.
In an interview on Friday, Eduardo “Ed” Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist, prompted villagers living along river channels near the volcano’s slopes to be on alert for possible lahar and mudflows during heavy rains or stormy weather.
Laguerta said at least 21 million cubic meters of lahar and 6.2 million cubic meters of molten rocks and other volcanic debris were spewed by Mayon volcano during its eruptive episodes last year.
“Torrential rains could move these deposits and breach tributaries that in effect could cause widespread mudflows in low-lying areas at the foot of the volcano,” he said.
Prone to lahar flows are 26 villages in the towns of Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, and Sto. Domingo.
Laguerta said three teams of Phivolcs scientists have been conducting inspections around the volcano in the past two weeks.
The study aims to monitor the volcano’s status based on the agency parameters, such as gas and steam emission rate, quakes, crater glows, and inflation or deflation of the volcano’s edifice.
Laguerta said the team would release the result by next week and recommend whether to lower the alert status of the volcano.
Phivolcs’ Friday bulletin said the volcano’s alert status remains at Alert Level 2 or moderate level of unrest.
The advisory warns the public to keep out of the 6-km. danger zone due to sudden explosions, lava collapses and pyroclastic flows. (PNA)
Photo from PNA