Mayon Volcano status raised to Alert Level 2

Philippines volcano might erupt in'weeks or days

However, Cedric Daep, the head of the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, stated that those who have evacuated may be allowed to return to their homes if the volcano alert is not upped another level.

However, he said, the heavy rains have made it hard for them to collect data.

It said the ash cloud from the country's most active volcano, about 325 kilometers southeast of Manila, was about 820 feet (2,500 meters) high and was headed southwest.

In the second eruption, the volcano emitted a grayish steam and ash cloud as sulfurous odor was also detected where rumbling sounds were heard by residents in Barangay Anolong in Camalig.

"This means that current unrest is probably of magmatic origin, which could lead to more phreatic eruptions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruptions", Phivolcs said.

The volcano's alert status has now been upgraded to Alert Level 2, meaning "increasing unrest", after a steam-driven eruption that caused ash falls in areas of Albay on Saturday, January 13.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the third phreatic eruption was recorded at 11:43 a.m.

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It advised people experiencing ashfall to cover their noses and mouths with a damp, clean cloth or dust mask.

Mayon's most violent eruption was in 1814, when more than 1,200 people were killed and a town was buried in volcanic mud. It also said aircraft must avoid flying close to the volcano's summit. Those within the slope of the volcano, but outside the 6-km danger zone, were told to take precautionary measures against possible roof collapses due to accumulated ash and rainwater.

Its last eruption came in 2014 when thousands were forced to evacuate.

Prior to this phreatic eruption, Mayon's edifice has undergone inflationary changes or a slight swelling of the edifice as indicated by ground deformation data recorded by continuous Global Positioning System and tilt since October and November 2017, respectively.

It was not immediately clear how many residents had to leave the danger zone.

"It is hard today for us to collect data, especially ashes because of heavy rains", Daep said.

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