Mayon Volcano calming down but alert level 4 remains

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MANILA : ABS CBN News reported that restive Mayon Volcano remains under alert level 4 or in danger of an imminent hazardous eruption despite showing a decrease in gas and lava emissions. It was placed under alert level 4, the second highest level in a 5-tier warning system, on Jan. 22 after it spouted a 10-kilometer ash column.

Volcanologist Ed Laguerta of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, in a press briefing in Albay on Saturday, said that gas levels emitted by the Mayon decreased to 1,583 tons per day from the estimated “3,000 plus (tons of gasses released) 2 days ago,”

He said the volcano, which has continued to spew lava and ash over nearly two weeks, had also deflated by 1 millimeter. He added that the alert level will only be downgraded when there are “no additional extrusions” and when a continuous decline in emission levels for at least 7 days will be observed.

Meanwhile, the decampment of residents evacuated from communities near the volcano will only be ordered once the Mayon is placed under alert level 2, said Cedric Daep, action officer at the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMCO).

The government is spending about P4 million a day to provide for thousands of evacuees in Albay who fled their homes after the Mayon started to rumble in mid-January, Daep said. Authorities placed the number of evacuees at 79,282 as of Saturday, down from 84,000 earlier in the week.

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