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).