More lava flows from Mayon

Posted at 12/16/09 12:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Lava continued to flow from Mayon Volcano's mouth coupled with more high frequency volcano earthquakes, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Wednesday.

Phivolcs said in its 8 a.m. report that it has recorded 78 high frequency volcanic earthquakes and tremors for the past 24 hours.

"The volcanic earthquakes represent magma ascent towards the crater of the volcano while tremors were associated to the detached fragments of lava and rockfalls," the agency said.

Phivolcs said lava that have flowed out of the volcano has reached 700 meters to 800 meters downslope below the crater.

Lava fragments detaching from the lava pile inside the crater continuously rolled down along Bonga gully reaching 3 to 4 kilometers downslope of the crater, the agency added.

It added that the detached lava fragments produced small secondary pyroclastic surge, generating ashfall in the towns of Camalig and Guinobatan.

The volcano has also continued to emit white steam that reached 200 meters above its summit.

Meanwhile, police said a total of 4,858 families have been evacuated from the 6-kilometer danger zone and the 7-kilometer extended danger zone of the volcano.

Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales was expected to meet with provincial disaster coordinating officials in Albay to check on their preparedness in case of an explosive eruption.

The local government is expecting to finish the evacuation of a total of 9,946 families from the danger zones in 2 days.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda had said the evacuees would have to stay in temporary shelters set up by the local government for more than 2 weeks or until the New Year.

Salceda said he has ordered the preparation of 10,000 noche buena and media noche packs for the affected families. -- Report from Jose Carretero, ABS-CBN Bicol