Mayon Volcano not yet safe for climbers, tourists - PHIVOLCS
by CT Dematera
Legazpi City (11 February) -- Government volcanologists here warned anew climbers, tourist and guides against entering inside the six kilometer radius permanent danger zone of Mayon Volcano as it still poses danger under alet level two.
Ed Laguerta, resident volcanologist of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), reiterated the warning against any human activity, to include climbing and lava watching inside the danger zone, following queries over the week coming from both local and foreign tourists if they could already get near the still abnormal volcano.
"We can not yet recommend activities inside the permanent danger zone as Mayon remains abnormal at this point," Laguerta stressed, clarifying though that their role is merely recommendatory.
Laguerta said that the 8,078-foot volcano has not yet returned to normal condition, with its emitted sulfur dioxide (SO2) until yesterday still nearly double the normal 500 tons a day.
"With still high SO2 emissions, magma-related degassing is still taking place inside Mayon," the veteran Mayon watcher explained.
Earlier, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said that they could not yet lower further to one, which means normal, the alert status on Mayon now remains hoisted at level two.
Solidum said, although volcanic tremors detected in the past days were already very low, with zero record, SO2 emissions remained high and its crater glow was observed at intensity two, or still visible to the naked eye.
This development prompted Albay Gov. Joey Salceda to order again the putting up of at least three checkpoints in the entry and exit points at the boundary of Mayon's permanent danger zone in the portions of Daraga and this city.
Salceda also warned tour guides against bringing inside the danger zone tourists just to watch the lava that settled in the Padang-Buyuan channel here, or merely at the boundary of the six kilometer danger zone.
"For as long as Mayon remains abnormal, we will not allow any human activity inside its permanent danger zone," Salceda said.
He said if the situation persists, he might again order a massive patrolling of the Task Force Mayon personnel inside the danger zone. (BUCAL/PIA) [top]