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Mayon Volcano Update [31 December 2009]

Posted by feww on December 31, 2009

Mayon Pipes Down, for Now

The Contrast: “Disaster Tourism” Booms as Boredom Sets in Among the Evacuees!


Lava flow from the crater of Mayon volcano as viewed from Lignon Hill in Legazpi city, Albay province, December 30, 2009. Credit: Bullit Marquez/ AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Highlights of news, observations, official and unofficial reports:

  • Thick clouds covered the volcano summit affecting visibility
  • No ash explosion during times of good visibility
  • Steam and ash spewed from volcano
  • 60 volcanic earthquakes recorded
  • 267 rock fall events reported
  • SO2 emissions rate down to 1,158 tonnes per day
  • volcano edifice remains inflated
  • Volcano hazard alert remained at Level 4 (explosive eruption could be imminent)

Other Headlines:

  • Seismic activity increasing in Mindanao, Philippines, with several several quakes measuring 5.0 to 5.7Mw reported in the region.
  • At least two quakes measuring 5.2 and 5.6 Mw struck near Leyte, Philippines in the past 24 hrs.

Human Angle:

Albay Governor Joey Salceda ordered the electricity and water supplies to be cit off to properties within the extended and permanent danger zones near Mayon Volcano yesterday, the Manila Bulletin reported.

Salceda said he wanted to discourage people from entering their homes withing the danger zone, after reports that many evacuees had returned to their homes for the New Year.

“Legally, there should be no people within the declared danger zones because of the provincial ordinance of the implementation of a 24-hour curfew. It is on this premise that I ordered that electricity and water supplies should be cut off,” he added.

“By Thursday afternoon (December 31), Salceda said he is also expecting the security forces to cut off the roads leading to all affected barangays in the cities of Tabaco, Legazpi and Ligao and the towns of Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Malilipot and Sto. Domingo.” Manila Bulletin reported

“All the hotels are fully booked, even the cheapest ones,” Salceda told reporters.

The Contrast: “Disaster Tourism” Booms as Boredom Sets in Among the Evacuees!


As the hotels in the Albay Province are filled to capacity with overenthusiastic, “disaster tourism” visitors, boredom sets in among the evacuees. AP Photo/Mike Alquinto. Image may be subject to copyright.

Mayon Volcano Bulletin 18 released on 31 December 2009

For the past 24 hours, Mayon Volcano’s (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E) activity was characterized by extrusion of lava and rolling down of incandescent lava fragments along the Bonga gully. The summit of the volcano was obscured most of the time yesterday due to thick cloud cover. No ash explosion was observed during times of good visibility. Emission of very weak to moderate volume of white steam that drifted towards west- southwest was observed during clear views of the crater.

Seismic monitoring revealed the occurrence of 60 volcanic earthquakes. A total of 267 rock fall events related to the detachment of lava fragments at the volcano’s upper slopes was also detected by the seismic network. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate measurements yesterday yielded an average value of 1,158 tonnes per day (t/d). The volcano edifice remains inflated as indicated by the electronic tilt meter installed at the northeast sector of the volcano.

The status of Mayon Volcano is maintained at Alert Level 4.  PHIVOLCS-DOST reiterates that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) from the summit of 8-km on the southern sector of the volcano and 7-km on the northern sector should be free from human activity.  Areas just outside of this EDZ should prepare for evacuation in the event hazardous eruptions intensify.  Active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall. In addition, Civil Aviation Authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may pose hazards to aircrafts. PHIVOLCS–DOST is closely monitoring Mayon Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately posted to all concerned.

For previous entries, additional information, photos and links to Mayon Volcano see links below:

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