It's Seen Nearly 50 Eruptions in 400 Years. Now, Another Looms

Threat level raised to 3 amid indications Mayon volcano will soon blow
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2018 7:23 AM CST

(Newser) – "Signs of imminent eruption" is not a phrase one living on the island of Luzon likely wants to hear. But, per CNN, that's what is being said about the Mayon volcano in the Philippines. On the heels of three steam eruptions Sunday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) bumped the alert level to three on a scale that goes to five, signifying an "increased tendency towards hazardous eruption," which it suggests could happen within "weeks or even days." The AP reports that almost 15,000 people have been evacuated from seven at-risk cities and towns.

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The AP explains that the steam explosions "may have breached solidified lava plugging the crater" and triggered a flow of lava that trails down from the crater a distance that measures less than a half-mile. PHIVOLCS describes "bright crater glow that signifies the growth of a new lava dome and beginnings of lava flow towards the southern slopes," per the Straits Times. Eruptions have been recorded at Mayon since 1616; among the nearly 50 prior eruptions is the worst, one in 1814 that left 1,200 dead. In 2013, five climbers were killed when Mayon spewed ash. (Read more Mayon volcano stories.)

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