Philippines - Bulletin 8

Situation Report
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Mt Mayon

Situation Update

On 14 December, the alert level for Mt Mayon, an active stratovolcano 15 kilometres Northwest of Legazpi City in Region V, was raisewd to level three and then to level four on 20 December, indicating that a hazardous eruption is possible within days. Evacuations from within the eight kilometre Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) have commenced and 47,563 people have been evacuated to date.

To date, ash explosions reaching up to two kilometres in the air have been recorded along with volcanic earthquakes and falling rock fragments, some of which have generated pyroclastic flows that have traveled approx tow kilometres from the crater. Flowing red hot lava and rolling incandescent lave fragments have also been recorded reaching five kilometres down-slope from the summit in places.

Based on Mayon's activity in previous years, this level of activity may indicate one of two future outcomes; the continued formation of lava flow, either with or without lave fountaining; or a shift to hazardous and explosive eruptions. Further complications could also arise from poor weather conditions such as strong rains or a typhoon which may trigger a lahar, a volcanic mudslide, as was the case in 2006.