An active volcano in central Philippines spewed ash into the air on Saturday (Jan 13), prompting the country’s disaster agency to order the immediate evacuation of residents in nearby villages.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said it was closely monitoring the Mayon volcano in Albay province, which last erupted in 2014.
Mayon Volcano Phreatic Eruption
13 January 2018
1706H Local Time
Column height: 2500 m
Ashfall on SW sector of Mayon Volcano
Bent column due to wind effects pic.twitter.com/FxHCyjLvVZ
— PHIVOLCS-DOST (@phivolcs_dost) January 13, 2018
Mayon’s most destructive eruption was in February 1841, when lava flows buried a town and killed 1,200 people.
The volcano, known for its near-perfect cone shape, is on the lowest alert level despite a “phreatic or steam-driven eruption”, meaning people are not allowed to stay within a six-kilometre “permanent danger zone”, Phivolcs said.
This also suggests there is no imminent major eruption, but the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said it had ordered the evacuation of residents for the safety of their health due to expected ashfall.
It was not immediately clear how many residents had to leave the danger zone.
“The volcano’s abnormal behaviour began late last year and it seems due for another one,” Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said.