SOLYMONE BLOG

PHILIPPINE VOLCANO GETS LOUDER, COULD BLOW SOON

LEGAZPI, Philippines – The Philippines' Mayon volcano turned up the heat with lava fountains and loud rumbling sounds Monday, and officials said it was getting closer to a major eruption that could come at any time.
Tens of thousands of villagers have been evacuated from the foothills as a precaution, but authorities are having trouble keeping them away from their homes and farms, said Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay province, about 210 miles (340 kilometers) southeast of Manila.
  • After a week of puffing out ash and sending bursts of lava trickling down its steep slopes, the 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) mountain overlooking the Gulf of Albay and Legazpi city in the central Philippines switched into high gear Monday with nearly 2,000 volcanic earthquakes and tremors since Sunday, state volcanologists said.
  • The emission of sulfur dioxide — an indication of magma rising inside the volcano — jumped to 6,000 tons per day from the normal 500, said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. It also reported "audible booming and rumbling sounds" in the eastern flank of the volcano, accompanied by intensified crater glow at night.
  • Lava fountains bursting from the cone-shaped volcano overnight rose 650 feet (200 meters) in the air, the institute said.
  • Scientists raised the alert level Sunday to one step below a hazardous eruption, saying one was possible within days. The only higher level is when a major eruption is already in progress.
  • More than 40,000 residents were given sleeping mats and food inside school buildings, gyms and other emergency shelters, but some have still been spotted checking on their farms in the prohibited zone.
  • Salceda said about 5,000 more villagers were being transported out of Mayon's danger zone, where scientists said red hot lava flows had reached three miles (five kilometers) from the crater.
Source: AP
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