Manila, June 19 (EFE) - The Philippine seismological agency Phivolcs announced on Monday that the ongoing activity of the Mayon volcano, the archipelago's most active, may persist for an additional three months. The volcano has already compelled around 20,000 individuals to evacuate from the area.
In an interview with Teleradyo, Phivolcs director Teresito Bacolcol predicted that it would likely take three months before the volcanic activity subsides. Bacolcol based his calculations on the recent eruption in 2018, characterized as a "soft and effusive eruption," similar to the present situation. However, he cautioned that the volcano's behavior remains unpredictable, and the possibility of a violent explosion cannot be dismissed.
Phivolcs reported that Mayon has not experienced any earthquakes in the past 24 hours, and the emission of sulfur dioxide has slightly decreased. Nevertheless, the volcano's activity has already forced approximately 20,000 individuals residing within a 6-kilometer radius to evacuate. Additionally, 628 residents have sought medical assistance due to respiratory problems.
According to the National Emergency Center in Albay, the province where Mayon is located, 28 evacuation centers have been established. However, an escalation in volcanic activity could necessitate the evacuation of thousands more people.
Mayon Volcano, renowned for its nearly perfect conical shape, is also a major tourist attraction in the area.
The volcano, currently at alert Level 3 on a scale of five, ejected a lava plume over 1 kilometer away from its crater last Thursday.
Phivolcs reiterated the risk of landslides or lahars in their daily report. These hazards involve the discharge of ash, mud, and sediment from Mayon, which accumulates on the slopes of the volcano in Albay province, situated on the eastern part of the island of Luzon.
Mayon's last eruption occurred in 2018, prompting the evacuation of over 75,000 people. The volcano's deadliest eruption transpired in 1814, claiming the lives of an estimated 1,200 individuals who were buried by rivers of lava and volcanic rock falls, as reported by Phivolcs.