Mayon Volcano forces evacuation of nearly 40,000 people

By David Jacobson, Temblor

Check your hazard rank

Volcanic activity at Mayon Volcano in the Philippines has led to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) saying that a hazardous eruption is possible within weeks, or even days. (Photo from: EPA)

 

On Saturday (13 Jan 2018), Mayon Volcano in the Philippines began erupting, forcing the evacuation of nearly 40,000 people, according to the Philippine National Risk Reduction and Management Council. Additionally, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) released a new bulletin today saying that the volcano remains at Alert Level 3, which means there is a high level of unrest and that a hazardous eruption is possibly within weeks, or even days. This has prompted the creation of a 6 km Permanent Danger Zone around the entire volcano, and a 7 km Extended Danger Zone on the southern flanks due to the elevated risk of rockfall, landslides and the potential for volcanic flows.



The video above, from Time, shows the volcanic activity at Mayon Volcano in the Philippines

 

Mayon Volcano is the most active volcano in the Philippines. It is in the Bicol Region on the island of Luzon, the most populous island in the Philippines. It has a long history of minor to major eruptions, most recently in 2014. In it’s largest eruption in 1814, more that 1,200 people were killed and several towns were devastated. In many past eruptions, these towns around the volcano have been destroyed by pyroclastic flows and lahars. Because there are nearly 250,000 people living within 10 km of the volcano, the risk to human safety is extremely high and people have been warned to listen carefully to disaster response officials.

Legazpi City, on the flanks of Mayon Volcano has a clear view of the current volcanic activity. Nearly 200,000 people live in the city and are being warned that a hazardous eruption could take place within weeks, or even days. (Photo from: EPA)

 

While so far no one has been harmed by the volcanic activity, officials say that the presence of lava indicates that a new lava dome is being formed and that because of this the evacuation zones must be enforced. Even though some people are resisting the calls to evacuate, emergency officials told the Associated Press that if the alert level reaches 4, forced evacuations will be necessary. Should there be increased activity we will either update this post to create an entirely new one.

 

References

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)

Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of Natural History, Global Volcanism Program

Associated Press

Time

CBS