Mayon ash explosion | May 7, 2013 update

An ash explosion occured in Mayon volcano around 8am on Tuesday, May 7. Phivolcs said no magma activity was recorded and the explosion was caused by steam.

mayon ash explosion may 7 2013
Mayon ash explosion (Photo courtesy of Gov. Salceda Facebook page)
Mayon “produced a small phreatic event that lasted about 73 seconds. The gray to brown clouds reached 500 meters above the summit and drifted west southwest,” a Phivolcs advisory stated. “No volcanic earthquake was detected within the past 24-hour observation period. Seismic and gas emission parameters remain within background levels and indicate no intensification of volcanic activity.”

The agency has not raised the alert level.

“With the above observations, PHIVOLCS is maintaining an Alert Level 0 status which means that no eruption is imminent. However, small phreatic explosions including small steam and ash ejections may occur suddenly with little or no warning.”

“It is strongly advised that the public refrain from entering the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) due to the threat of sudden steam-driven eruptions and rock falls from the upper and middle slopes of the volcano,” Phivolcs added.

In an interview earlier on ANC, Albay governor Joey Salceda said the incident left three mountaineers dead after they were hit by rocks. Some mountain climbers, he said, are still trapped on the slopes of the volcano. He added that rescue teams have already been dispatched in the area.

Tour guide Kenneth Jesalva also told ANC that four persons including three foreigners and one Filipino died. The fatalities, he said, were among the tour group composed of eight individuals.

However, Salceda with the PDRRMC in Albay later told ANC News that 5 already died: 4 foreigners and 1 tour guide.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reportedly said 5 were dead and 7 sustained injuries in the Mayon ash explosion.