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Phivolcs records phreatic eruption of Mayon Volcano

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Mayon Volcano in Albay spewed ash and steam from its crater at 4:37 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said volcanic ash was observed at a height of 1,200 meters drifting to the southwest.

Phivolcs described the event as a phreatic eruption, which generated a booming sound with rockfall and pyroclastic density currents. It lasted for about four minutes and nine seconds based on the seismic record.

“Phreatic or steam-driven eruptions are sudden-onset and short-lived events. They happen without warning or any precursors,” explained Phivolcs, which is why it has always cautioned the public to stay away from the six-kilometer permanent danger zone.  

A TV Patrol report quoting Phivolcs resident volcanologist Dr. Paul Alanis on Sunday said ashfall may occur over the towns of Daraga, Camalig, and Guinobatan in Albay in light of this event. Phivolcs director Dr. Teresito Bacolcol, however, noted they have not yet received reports of an ashfall.

Mayon Volcano emitted 621 tons of sulfur dioxide on Feb. 2. Alert level 2 is raised over Mayon since Dec. 8, 2023.

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