Mayon volcano in Albay province, Philippines.

Yesterday, Mayon in the Philippines, which has been showing signs that it might be headed towards a significant eruption, produced an ash plume that reached as high as 3.5 km / 12,000 feet according to some reports. Evacuations of villages near the volcano have begun, while many other towns have been supplied with wireless announcement systems to help with evacuating if the volcano continues to show signs that it will experience a significant eruption.

Last week, there were reports that a new dome was forming at the summit of Mayon and if this new dome continues to grow, the likelihood of an explosive eruption that could prompt the evacuation of nearly 300,000 people increases. The volcano is experiencing ~1 earthquake per hour and a glow persists at the summit. PHIVOLCS has left the volcano at Alert Level 2 (of 4).


  1. #1 damon hynes
    November 11, 2009

    Since you brought Mayon up…:-)

    1. Is there evidence of any non-summit eruptions of Mayon? 8000 feet and no conduit breakdown? Something’s got to give one of these days…

    2. Is any of the nearby coastline comprised of lava flows?

  2. #2 Boris Behncke
    November 11, 2009

    To damon hynes, think of volcanoes like Sangay in Ecuador(which is about twice the size of Mayon) going on happily erupting from their summit vents without becoming unstable for a long, long time … To my knowledge there’s no known historical eruption from any vent other than the one at the summit of Mayon, but near the airport of Legazpi city sits a prehistoric cinder cone, so there has been at least one flank eruption some time in the past.
    I’ll be back on this blog in a few days with answers to the questions regarding Italian volcanoes .. and some comments on the Campi Flegrei drilling project.

  3. #3 thegeochick
    November 11, 2009

    My, that is a beautiful strato. Glad to hear they’re in the process of evacuating.

  4. #4 Mary L. B.
    November 11, 2009

    With all of the recent volcanic activity, will we have a harsher winter than last year? I know very little about the technical side of volcanoes. How strong does an eruption have to be to affect weather?

  5. #5 mike don
    November 11, 2009

    Boris: While Sangay historically has only erupted from the summit (more or less) there is evidence of two major flank collapses in the past, does that count?

    Can I ask a question of my own: how old is Mayon? Symmetric cone, frequent eruptions, gives the impression of a young volcano, maybe entirely Holocene, but I haven’t seen any age estimates anywhere

  6. #6 Chance Metz
    November 11, 2009

    It erupts so often it keeps rebuilding when it does collpase and that is why it looks so perfect.

  7. #7 Larry Amarillas
    December 17, 2010

    Almost all of the responses on this website are weird.

  8. #8 Susy
    December 21, 2010

    I wanted to say that it’s awesome to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same information somewhere else. This was the first place that told me the answer. Many thanks. Respectfully, Susy.

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