Phivolcs upgraded the volcano to alert level four just a few minutes after the volcano suddenly erupted lava around noon. Lava continues to cascade down the slopes of Mayon volcano as seen from Legazpi city, Albay province, around 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.
This means that the danger zone has been expanded to a radius of 8 kilometers, Solidum said.
This is the second in over a week and happened as authorities are bracing for a possible "hazardous eruption".
In a situational report as of 8 a.m. Monday, January 22, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the seismic monitoring network for Mayon has monitored one incident of pyroclastic flow, 64 rockfall events and three episodes of volcanic earthquakes, included two that caused lava fountaining.
Restive Mount Mayon may appear quiet for now but Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) scientists warned the public and local officials not to be complacent as it is continuously bulging meaning that the magma beneath the volcano is intruding towards the crater.
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The institute said lava reached over 1,600 feet (500 meters) above the crater and ash fell in the Albay neighborhoods of Oas and Guinobatan. "Prepare either gas masks, handkerchiefs or clothes to prevent inhalation of fine ash", PHIVOLCS director Renato Solidum said in an interview with CNN.
Mayon volcano is a popular tourist destination in the Bicol region.
It is considered the nation's most active volcano. "Thousands are already affected and their lives will not be able to return to normal for some time - we need to help them cope with the situation", DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel Leyco said. Mayon's first recorded eruption was in 1616 and the most destructive in 1814 killed 1,200 people and buried the town of Cagsawa in volcanic mud.
The most powerful explosion in recent years was the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, about 100 kilometres northwest of Manila, which killed more than 800 people.
According to Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara, all schools will be suspended in the whole province on January 23.