Eruptions

Mayon eruption update for 12/15/2009


The new dome erupting at Mayon in the Philippines on December 14-15, 2009.

It appears that the eruption that PHIVOLCS had been waiting for at Mayon has arrived, with new magma reaching the surface and spilling down the slopes of the volcano. Or, as CNN International put it:

The island nation’s most active volcano after it oozed fiery lava and belched clouds of ash.

People do love the idea of fiery, oozing lava, don’t they?

Anyway, PHIVOLCS has raised the alert status at Mayon to Level 3 (eruption in days to weeks). This new activity has prompted the evacuation of at least 47,000 people in the next 72 hours – although so far the activity has mostly prompted gawkers trying to get a sight of the lava flow. The video I posted yesterday shows the new dome clearly and the lava “flow” on the slopes looks like hot rocks from the dome cascading down the edifice. With the new dome material has also come ash, which is actually the main volcanic hazard that is prompting the evacuations, although it was a lahar that caused the ~1,200 deaths in the 1814. This eruption seems to have gotten the media’s attention, too, with it even showing up on Gawker of all places. There are also quite a few images of the eruption if you want to take a peek at the activity (and Mayon’s proximity to Legazpi City).

Comments

  1. #1 EKoh
    December 15, 2009

    This story has made it to the top of some of the news websites such as MSNBC and CNN. Dramatic pictures always help.

  2. #2 Chance Metz
    December 15, 2009

    And to think this is just the start of the eruption.

  3. #3 Art
    December 15, 2009

    Classic picture. Thanks.

  4. #4 Dave Tucker
    December 15, 2009

    Thanks, Eric. Why is the alert level at Mayon ’3′ [eruption within in days to weeks], when it is already erupting?
    Yes, the fiery hot stuff gets lots of attention. We probably won’t see nearly as many media reports showing small scale collapsing blocks rolling down the slope during the day.
    dt
    Bellingham, WA

  5. #5 Erik Klemetti
    December 15, 2009

    Dave – You know I was wondering the same thing. I imagine that they mean something larger than what is going on now. I would guess they might think a real plinian eruption caused by a dome collapse, possibly … but that is only speculation on my part. Anybody else have any better information?

  6. #6 Brian in Bellingham
    December 15, 2009

    I read this here: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/12/14/09/lava-flows-mayon-volcano

    ” an interview with dzMM Monday evening, Phivolcs director Dr. Renato Solidum said Mayon Volcano is now at a “high level of unrest.”

    At Alert Level 3, he said Mayon Volcano may soon have more dangerous explosions

    The next level, alert level 4, means hazardous eruption is imminent or possible within days.

    The highest level, alert level 5, means hazardous eruption is ongoing.”

    BTW, that makes two of us from Bellingham!

  7. #7 Simon
    December 16, 2009
  8. #8 Simon
    December 16, 2009

    Ignore…I realised it was from 2007 :D My bad.

  9. #9 romel verano
    December 16, 2009

    kailangan ng lumikas ng mga tao na malapit sa mayon.

  10. #10 Alby
    December 16, 2009

    12/16/09

    Watching eruptions is one thing, Controlling them is another. People really can do more than just watch and cause and wait for the next of devastating disasters. If as much effort and means went into preventing them we’d really be progressing onward through them. It’s really largely now a matter of priorities. Philippine governance like those of other countries have been informed that more sure disaster prevention is possible, but it appears nations would rather instead spend trillions fighting destructive wars, lining their pockets, and wasting funds as the environment and employment worsens.

  11. #11 Chance Metz
    December 16, 2009

    10,000 foot ash plume from Mayon!

    Received FVFE01 at 01:40 UTC, 17/12/09 from RJTD
    VA ADVISORY

    DTG: 20091217/0139Z
    VAAC: TOKYO
    VOLCANO: MAYON 0703-03
    PSN: N1315E12341
    AREA: PHILIPPINES
    SUMMIT ELEV: 2462M
    ADVISORY NR: 2009/5
    INFO SOURCE: MTSAT-1R RPLL
    AVIATION COLOUR CODE: NIL
    ERUPTION DETAILS: VA AT 20091217/0059Z FL100 EXTD SW WAS REPORTED.
    OBS VA DTG: 17/0059Z
    OBS VA CLD: VA NOT IDENTIFIABLE FROM SATELLITE DATA. WINDS ABV THE
    VO
    LCANO AT 17/0050Z FL050 060/7KT FL100 000/4KT FROM JMA NWP MODEL.
    FCST VA CLD +6HR: NIL
    FCST VA CLD +12HR: NIL
    FCST VA CLD +18HR: NIL
    RMK: WE WILL ISSUE FURTHER ADVISORY IF VA IS DETECTED IN SATELLITE
    IM
    AGERY.
    NXT ADVISORY: NO FURTHER ADVISORIES=

  12. #12 amoyube1980
    January 5, 2010

    I guess when they say alert level 3 even though it’s already erupting means that that isn’t the worst level yet for mayon, at least a few alert levels below of the one that demolished the cagsawa church more than a century ago or the one that completely erased the ruins of the cagsawa church a few years back.

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