Phivolcs lowers Mayon status to Alert Level 1

LEGAZPI CITY  – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has now lowered Mayon Volcano’s alert status from Level 2 (moderate level unrest) to Level 1 (low level unrest).

In its 5:30 p.m. bulletin on Tuesday, Phivolcs said a steady decline in monitored parameters has been observed.

Since January, the volcano generated an average of two to three earthquakes per day, most of which were related to rock fracturing processes. A significant slowing down of lava growth was also noted — an average of zero to one rockfall per day.

An average of 1,148 tons sulfur dioxide (S02) emissions per day was observed since January. The highest S02 flux so far was 2,394 tons on January 22, and the lowest was 420 tons on Tuesday.

Weak to moderate degassing plumes were seen this year, Phivolcs said, adding, that lowering Mayon’s alert status “should not be interpreted that unrest has completely ceased.”

Entry into the six-kilometer permanent danger zone remains prohibited due to perennial hazards of rockfalls, avalanches, and sudden steam-driven or phreatic eruption at the summit area.

Aviation authorities airplane pilots are likewise  urged to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft.