Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mayon Volcano Surprise Steam Eruption

Mayon Volcano is one of the best tourist attractions due to its perfect cone shape and was in fact once tops the list of the best wonders of the world. Ambitious mountaineers get to Albay, Bicol to climb this very challenging volcano. The fastest of which was able to reach the crater in just over 13 hours. At 0730 AM local time, it has erupted.

Mayon Volcano's 6-km Danger Zone, Mountaineer Trails and Tourist Spots on the area
as mapped by Schadow1 Expeditions' mapping project last December 27, 2012

Earlier today, at around 7:00AM local time, the volcano erupted without warnings. By 8:30AM, PHIVOLCS has set a 6-km radius danger zone around the volcano's crater. The volcano instantly claimed five lives, four of which are foreigner mountaineers and a Filipino porter/guide. They were at at the Malilipot trail (PHIVOLCS jump-off drail and northwest side of the volcano) near the "stair/hagdan" part according to Mr. George Cordovilla, known as the expert climber of Mayon who was along the trails of Mt. Mayon during the explosion. There were over 20 mountaineers around the volcano including the "traditional" trail or Lidong trail at Mayon's southwest side. ATV operators around the area which tour operations can reach up to Mayon's Lava Dome, just right at the 6-kilometer radius danger zone has earlier aborted their operations.

Mayon Lava Dome, just at the edge of the 6-km Danger Zone

As of this time, those who were above 1,200 MASL at Lidong Trail when the volcano erupted are still trapped as the helicopter sent by NDRMMC could not land at Camp 2 at ~1800 MASL, about less than a kilometer away (horizontal distance) from the crater.

The volcano erupted without warning thus it was categorized as a "Phreatic Eruption" which results from magma and water streams meets within a volcano where it produces steam. Pressure builds up and when underground volcanic structures could not take the pressure, it violently bursts in to the atmosphere spewing hot gases and volcanic debris.

Related articles: Mayon Volcano

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