Volcanic activity

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 25 April 2008



(2008), "Volcanic activity", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 17 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/dpm.2008.07317bad.004



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Volcanic activity

Article Type: Disaster database From: Disaster Prevention and Management, Volume 17, Issue 2.

14 July 2006 Mount Mayon (Philippines)

The Mayon volcano erupted today, a day after ejecting ash amid swarms of earthquakes, the Philippines’ chief volcanologist said. “It is a quiet eruption as of now,” said Renato Solidum, chief of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, who ordered the alert level raised after observers saw “lava trickles” flowing down the slopes of the 8,118-foot volcano. “A hazardous eruption is possible. We don’t know when, maybe within weeks,” Solidum said. He said scientists had expected lava flows after ash shot out of the volcano yesterday and earthquakes were recorded for two days. Solidum said observers had not been able to see the crater as the top of the mountain had been obscured by clouds. There was no immediate word on evacuations.

15 July 2006

Philippine disaster officials ordered thousands of villagers today to prepare for a possible evacuation from the south-east slopes of Mount Mayon, a restive volcano in the central area of the archipelago. Late yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level at the 2,462 metre volcano after a lava spill was observed at its crater. Volcanologist Jaime Sincioco said the danger zone on Mayon’s south-eastern slope, facing Legazpi City and Sto Domingo town, was widened to 7 km because of the lava flow risk. A 6 km danger zone was kept in other areas around Mayon. “We’re watching the volcano closely,” he said, adding that the Volcanology institute has asked disaster and local government agencies to prepare people to abandon farms and homes. An estimated 60,000 people in six towns in Albay province would be evacuated in the event of a big eruption, said Cedric Daep of the provincial disaster coordinating council. “We will start evacuating people once the alert level is raised to 4,” Daep said, adding the authorities has started to stockpile food, medicine and relief materials. “We’re now on the state of full preparedness.” Mayon volcano in the Bicol region showed abnormal activity last month and spewed ashes on Thursday (July 13), covering homes in Malilipot town. When lava suddenly trickled from its crater late yesterday, authorities raised the alert level to 3 from 1. At level 3 an explosion is considered possible, at level 4 it is seen as likely and at level 5, the highest alert, an eruption has occurred with lava flows or ash columns reaching 6 km. “Our instruments and observation posts around Mayon detected magma was rising and pushing molten rocks that had accumulated in its craters to spill and trickle on the slopes,” Sincioco said. People on the south-east slopes could see the volcano aglow at night as molten rocks were breaking off from the crater.

16 July 2006

Flaming mud and rocks the size of a car cascaded from the slopes of Mount Mayon, an active volcano in the central Philippines, raising the risk of a hazardous eruption, a volcanologist said today. “We’ve observed heightened activities in the volcano,” resident vulcanologist Ed Laguerta told Reuters. “From 06:00 on Saturday to 06:00 today, our instruments recorded a total of 111 volcanic tremors, a significant increase from Friday to Saturday’s 22.” Laguerta said lava was seeping out of the summit of the 2,462 metre volcano forming an elongated mass to about 800 metres down slope. A 6 km danger zone was imposed around Mayon, but was widened to 7 km on the south-east slope, facing Legazpi City and Sto Domingo town, due to the risks of lava flow. “If the activities continued in the next few days, we may upgrade the alert level to 4, which means a hazardous eruption is imminent within hours to days,” said Laguerta, adding they have also recorded increased sulphuric gas emissions.

15 July 2006 Mount Tungurahua (Ecuador)

Ecuador ’s Tungurahua volcano spewed ash, gases and molten rocks today, forcing authorities to evacuate four nearby villages after the crater registered its most volatile activity since a 1999 eruption. Tungurahua, about 129 km south of Quito, has been increasingly active since May when it shot out large clouds of hot gas and prompted officials to renew a limited state of emergency in nearby towns. Civil Defence authorities ordered evacuations in four small villages in the areas surrounding the volcano, whose name means “throat of fire” in local indigenous Quichua language. Local television stations showed images of molten rocks blasting from the crater while radio reported ash raining down on the Andean provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo. Authorities have not yet declared a red alert, which would trigger a forced evacuation of all neighbouring areas, one official said.

17 July 2006

Several thousand people have been evacuated from their homes in Ecuador by continuing volcanic eruptions. Tungurahua has been spitting out ash and lava for three days, and emitting loud explosions. So far there have been no injuries, but some villagers are reluctant to leave their homes and livestock. President Alfredo Palacio has announced $4.9 million in aid, after touring the affected area at the weekend. Nearby towns have been covered in volcanic ash, as the wind carried the dust up to 120 km from Tungurahua. There have been 24 explosive cycles since Saturday (July 15), according to an official at the country’s Geophysical Institute. Some locals have refused to move away from the area. “They said to evacuate but we’re not going to leave because we’re not going to throw away the animals, the houses,” said Manuel Rosero.

17 July 2006

Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano spewed gas and ash for the fourth day today as droves of evacuees returned home to salvage what little was left from their ash-covered villages. Tungurahua, located about 80 miles south of Quito, has been increasingly active since May, when it blew out big clouds of hot gas and prompted officials to renew a limited state of emergency in nearby towns. Emergency officials said around 1,600 people had taken refuge in make-shift shelters, but some had ignored repeated warnings and returned home to rescue their farm animals and recover belongings.

18 July 2006

Patricio Donoso, president of Ecuador’s Chamber of Agriculture, said yesterday that 100,000 people have lost their homes and 15,000 hectares of land were destroyed by the eruption of Tungurahua Volcano some 135 km south of the capital Quito. “Farmers in the region are losing everything: livestock and planted land. The situation is very, very bad,” Donoso told Teleamazonas television, calling on the government to provide emergency help. The government evacuated 5,500 people who lived close to Tungurahua’s crater on Friday (July 14). The Andean provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo in southern Ecuador have been put under an orange alert and regional authorities were watching the volcano, ready to declare a red alert which implies the total evacuation of the area around the volcano. Hot and dangerous lava was due to reach the town of Banos, which has 15,000 residents, on Monday, experts told television.

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