The Mayon volcano in the Philippines has spewed ash several times over the weekend, forcing authorities to evacuate two villages in its vicinity and raise the threat level, warning of potential “hazardous magmatic eruptions.”
“The public is strongly advised to be vigilant and desist from entering the six kilometer (3.7 mile) radius Permanent Danger Zone to minimize risks from sudden explosions, rockfall and landslides,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) announced on Sunday.
The volcano, located in Albay province of central Philippines, first spewed ash on Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday morning. Since the eruptions, a “faint crater glow” has been observed, while the “rockfall events have been intermittently recorded and are continuing,” the agency added.
The threat level was raised to level 2, with Phivolcs warning the volcanic activity is “probably of magmatic origin, which could lead to more phreatic eruptions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruptions.”
Residents of at least two villages within the six kilometer radius around the volcano have already been evacuated, but some people still remain in the danger zone, hoping the threat is not yet “critical.”
“We have not reached the critical level,” said the head of the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Cedric Daep, as cited by Reuters. “Alert level 3 is what we consider critical, 4 is when eruption is imminent, and 5 is eruption in progress.”