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Restless In Albay: Majestic Mayon Nears ‘Big Boom’ (Retitled, Updated)

December 16, 2009

It’s been 16 years since  the last deadly eruption of majestic Mayon.

So between our memories of that 1993 blast and the horrific 1990 explosion of long dormant Mount Pinatubo (which laid Central Luzon to waste) there’s absolutely every reason to be fearful of the anger of Albay’s perfect cone.

Her golden night-time pyroclastic display, with molten lava sliding down her 2-and-a-half-kilometer slope, can even be hypnotic but any further shift to larger earthquakes and an explosive eruptive phase can indeed spell disaster.

Albay authorities are already forcibly evacuating tens of thousands from athe 8-kilometer perimeter around Mayon even as volcanologists say her restlessness could last up to six months.

(Associated Press Photos)

Scientists raised the alert level on Mayon to two steps below a major eruption after ash explosions late Monday,

As we steel ourselves for the worst, Filipinos can simply join authorities in targeting zero casualties as nature’s fury is on show in Albay.

1st update:

(Associated Press and NASA images)

Majestic Lady Mayon is getting angrier by the hour.

Authorities in Albay are now telling hard-headed residents within the 8-kilometer danger zone around the volcano time is running out.

The molten lava flow from Mayon is now spreading past the three kilometre mark downslope from the 2-kilometer high rumbler.

As the earthquakes and rumblings grown stronger, volcanologist now fear a disastrously explosive big boom may be hours away.

But at least 3,000 Bicolanos are ignoring mandatory evacuation calls,

Gov. Joey Salceda:

There are people who have been evacuated three times, and we sigh: ‘You again? We’ve been playing cat and mouse with them.

The latest Associated report:

After a week of puffing out ash and sending bursts of lava trickling down its steep slopes, the 8,070-foot (2,460-meter) mountain overlooking the Gulf of Albay and Legazpi city shook with nearly 2,000 volcanic earthquakes and tremors between Sunday and Monday, state volcanologists said.
The emission of sulfur dioxide — an indication of magma rising inside the volcano — jumped to 6,000 tons per day from the normal 500, said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. It also reported “audible booming and rumbling sounds” in the eastern flank of the volcano, accompanied by intensified crater glow at night.
Lava fountains bursting from the cone-shaped volcano overnight rose 650 feet (200 meters) in the air, the institute said.

The latest video report from ABS-CBN:

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