Mayon belches ash anew as residents flee

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 14 2018 10:58 AM | Updated as of Jan 14 2018 04:29 PM

MANILA - (UPDATED) Mayon volcano in Albay province spewed a smoke cloud on Sunday for the third time in less than 24 hours, state seismological office Phivolcs said as hundreds of residents fled to safer ground. 

The active volcano emitted a plume of ash and steam at 11:43 a.m., which drifted southwest towards the town of Camalig, Mariton Bornas, chief of the Phivolcs volcano monitoring division, told ABS-CBN News. 

There was no immediate information on whether the latest phreatic or steam-driven eruption produced a bigger ash cloud than the first two eruptions at around 5 p.m. Saturday and 8:49 a.m. Sunday, she said. 

Some 900 families have fled to evacuation centers so far due to the eruptions, according to local officials. 

Phivolcs has raised alert level 2 over Mayon, which means that the cause of the restiveness could be magmatic, leading possibly "to more phreatic eruptions or eventually to hazardous magmatic eruptions." 

The seismological office urged the public not to enter the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), where sudden explosions, rockfalls and landslides could occur. 

Phivolcs also advised residents in nearby towns to avoid inhaling volcanic ash by covering their noses with wet towels and shutting windows. 

Mayon, known for its near-perfect cone, last erupted in 2014. Its most destructive eruption was in February 1841, when lava flows buried a town and killed 1,200 people. -- With reports from Reuters and Karen Canon, ABS-CBN News