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PHIVOLCS lowers Mayon Volcano status to Alert Level 2

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) on Thursday announced the lowering of Mayon Volcano's status to Alert Level 2.

As of 8 a.m., PHIVOLCS said it is downgrading Mayon Volcano to Alert Level 2 (moderate level of unrest) after a "general decline in unrest" at the volcano three weeks after it lowered the status to Alert Level 3

"PHIVOLCS-DOST is now lowering the alert status of Mayon from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2, signifying the cessation of eruptive activity and the decline to a moderate level of unrest," the agency said in its bulletin. 



The agency said seismic activity fell to 10 rockfall events from a peak of 82 while magma degassing and short ash plumes and lava flow effusions were last monitored on March 15 and March 18, respectively.

"Low frequency earthquakes associated with magma degassing and short ash plumes were last recorded on 15 March 2018, although lava flow effusion from the crater could be detected until 18 March 2018.  The overall decline in seismicity indicates that there is currently no active transport of eruptible magma to the shallow levels of the edifice," PHIVOLCS said.

"Since the last observation of lava effusion on March 18, 2018, no new lava has been detected on Mayon’s summit crater. Crater glow, which is incandescence associated with superheated gas emission at the summit vent, has diminished from intense to faint," it added.

However, PHIVOLCS warned that the lowering of Mayon Volcano's status does not mean cessation of its unrest, saying it can raise the alert level again if it records a resurgence of volcanic unrest. But PHIVOLCS said it can lower the alert level anew if the volcano returns to baseline levels of ground deformation.

PHIVOLCS still urged the public to avoid entering the six-kilometer permanent danger zone "due to perennial hazards of rockfalls, avalanche, ash puffs and sudden steam-driven or phreatic eruptions at the summit area."

People living in valleys and active river channels are also reminded to stay vigilant against sediment-laden streamflows and lahars in case of heavy rainfall. 

Albay has been placed under a state of calamity as of January 16. 

Alert Level 4 was raised over the volcano on January 22 due to successive phreatic eruptions followed by continuous lava fountaining, degassing and lava flows. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/KG, GMA News