Mount Mayon volcano alert raised after ash and lava spill out

Authorities in the Philippines are warning people to stay clear of the volatile Mount Mayon volcano after multiple er...

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 9:37 AM
Updated: Jan 23, 2018 9:37 AM

Authorities in the Philippines are warning people to stay clear of the volatile Mount Mayon volcano after multiple eruptions overnight spread lava and ash for kilometers.

A thick column of ash streamed five kilometers into the air above the volcano, in Albay province in southeastern Luzon, and spread over neighboring districts, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said in a statement Tuesday.

Falling ash left Guinobatan, a town of around 80,000 people, in a state of "zero visibility," according to affiliate CNN Philippines.

PHIVOLCS said it had also detected "two explosion-type earthquakes" as well as dozens of rockfalls and "lava fountaining episodes" in and around the crater on Monday.

The alert level for Mayon volcano -- the country's most active volcano -- was raised to four from three last week after it exhibited increasing seismic unrest and summit explosions. The highest level -- five -- means a hazardous eruption is underway.

More than 27,000 people have been evacuated from the area around the volcano in preparation for a dangerous eruption. Lava has been flowing down from the crater since last week.

The public has been advised to stay vigilant and avoid the danger zone, which covers an eight-kilometer (five mile) radius from the volcano summit, according to the agency.

"The evacuation has been ongoing since [the volcano] started showing signs of instability," Mark Dambal, information officer at the Philippines' Office of Civil Defense, told CNN.

"Because of the volcanic activity, the danger zone was extended from six kilometers to eight kilometers [from the volcanic summit]," he added. "People staying in the area are now ordered to be evacuated."

He added that more than 24,000 people have been displaced to evacuation centers across the province, while another 3,100 have moved to stay with relatives and friends.

In a media briefing Monday, the agency's director Renato Solidum warned that this eruption could be similar to that of 2001, which featured pyroclastic flow, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.

A possible pyroclastic flow -- characterized by a rapid movement of hot lava blocks, pumice, ash and gas along volcanic slopes -- could reach up to three kilometers (1.8 miles), Solidum said.

Lava was seen to be flowing more voluminously than before, according to a press release from the agency. It also stated that lava eruptions have resulted in an ash plume of up to 1,300 meters (4,300 feet) above the summit.

Classes at private and public schools have been suspended as a precautionary measure, Albay Gov. Al Francis C. Bichara posted on Facebook. He has also advised residents to wear facemasks and stay indoors.

Situated on the island of Luzon, about 330 kilometers (205 miles) southeast of Manila, Mayon is one of the world's most active volcanoes.

Since 616, it has erupted 47 times, with many of the explosions causing deadly mudflows and ash falls.

In 2014, thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate the same area after an alert was issued, while in 2013, five climbers died when they were hit by falling rocks thrown up by a particularly violent blast.

The volcano's most devastating eruption took place in 1814 when at least 1,200 people were killed.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 97049

Reported Deaths: 2921
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7151160
DeSoto565061
Harrison388874
Jackson352770
Madison331489
Rankin331179
Lee276470
Forrest250976
Jones250479
Washington225977
Lafayette219840
Lauderdale2065125
Bolivar184966
Oktibbeha180252
Lamar172836
Lowndes158158
Neshoba1581104
Panola151031
Sunflower148046
Leflore141781
Warren140950
Pontotoc128216
Pike124251
Monroe123969
Copiah119333
Scott117627
Coahoma116329
Marshall111517
Lincoln111453
Holmes110059
Grenada109536
Yazoo106230
Simpson104846
Tate101138
Union99924
Leake96238
Adams94337
Wayne90821
Pearl River89653
Marion86935
Prentiss86517
Itawamba83521
Alcorn82711
Covington82723
George78313
Tallahatchie77621
Newton77324
Winston74219
Tishomingo69438
Chickasaw68524
Tippah67317
Attala67125
Clarke60346
Walthall60226
Clay59818
Hancock59022
Jasper57815
Noxubee55516
Smith53815
Calhoun52412
Tunica49915
Claiborne46516
Montgomery46520
Yalobusha43714
Lawrence43313
Perry42419
Greene38617
Quitman3805
Humphreys37815
Stone37612
Jefferson Davis34211
Webster33813
Amite33510
Carroll32112
Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2293
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 136549

Reported Deaths: 2378
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19833350
Mobile13471292
Montgomery8865184
Tuscaloosa8744118
Madison797878
Shelby604349
Lee594560
Baldwin558850
Marshall396743
Calhoun354844
Etowah354045
Morgan332728
Houston293521
Elmore269148
DeKalb243521
St. Clair234036
Walker233084
Talladega217729
Limestone213520
Cullman191120
Dallas179326
Franklin179029
Autauga178525
Russell17653
Lauderdale174033
Colbert167526
Blount161815
Escambia161424
Chilton159330
Jackson158911
Covington140327
Dale139944
Coffee13656
Pike120510
Chambers117242
Tallapoosa116685
Clarke110416
Marion97129
Butler91439
Barbour8867
Winston74512
Marengo72620
Pickens66814
Randolph66013
Bibb65710
Lowndes65727
Hale64928
Geneva6384
Lawrence62823
Cherokee61413
Bullock60714
Clay5928
Monroe5908
Washington56113
Crenshaw54232
Perry5426
Conecuh53711
Wilcox53211
Henry5085
Macon48318
Fayette4678
Sumter43819
Cleburne3895
Lamar3772
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Columbus
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 58°
Oxford
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Starkville
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather