Tuesday, June 18

Philippines evacuates Mayon Volcano, where instability suggests eruption 2023

Philippine army, police, and rescue personnel began forcefully removing villagers near Mayon Volcano on Friday as its disturbance suggested a cataclysmic eruption of one of the country’s most active volcanoes within weeks or days.

Volcanic emissions, lava flows, rockfalls, and other dangers are prohibited within a 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) radius of Mayon’s crater. Many impoverished people have constructed dwellings and farmed near Mayon’s danger zone.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. stated citizens were being evacuated from the permanent danger zone and offered help until the situation ended.

Marcos told reporters, “Right now, what we are doing is preparing and moving people away from the area so that, should the time come, I hope it doesn’t happen…we’re ready. However, research warns that the lava’s lid or cap is progressively rising.

After superheated jets of gas, debris, and boulders cascaded down its top slope Thursday, authorities upped the warning level for the volcano in northern Albay province.

Marcos said conditions improved Friday, but lava has not yet flowed.

Residents evacuated were unknown.

In 2018, 2,462-meter (8,077-feet) Mayon fiercely erupted, displacing thousands of residents.

After detecting further rockfalls and two volcanic earthquakes, government volcano specialists upped the alert level near Mayon to the third of a five-step warning system on Thursday.

Six short volcanic gas and ash outbursts flowed down the volcano’s southern slopes Friday. The federal volcanology institute reported many rockfalls and thin ash and steam plumes drifting south.

In its Friday morning report, the institute stated Mayon is at “a relatively high level of unrest as magma is at the crater and hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or even days.”

Mayon is one of the Philippines’ most active volcanoes.

Due to ongoing unrest, officials monitored Taal Volcano south of Manila and Mount Kanlaon on central Negros island.

Due to volcanic haze, many villages in three towns around Taal halted schools Wednesday and encouraged inhabitants to restrict outside activity and use masks.

The Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where tectonic plates intersect, causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the Philippines. Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, killing hundreds.

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