MANILA – Mayon, one of the most active volcanoes of the Philippines, has registered abnormal activity in its crater which “could lead to an eruption soon,” experts of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned on Friday.
Expert Ed Laguerta, who heads Philvocs in the central Bicol region where Mount Mayon is located, said the crater had expanded significantly over the past ten days due to increased magma pressure, The Star reported Friday.
Thousands of residents have fled their homes, as authorities in Albay province, on the northern island of Luzon, make final preparations to shelter more than 56,000 affected people, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council of the Philippines.
Two weeks ago, Mayon started to expel tons of sulphur dioxide and registered several tremors and landslides of incandescent rocks, while at night the glow of magma in the crater could be seen.
Mayon, located 360 kilometers (around 224 miles) southeast of Manila, is one of the most visited tourist attractions due to its beautiful landscape and perfect conical structure.
The volcano is one of the most active in the Philippines, with some 50 eruptions over the past 500 years.
The worst one occurred in 1814, when the city of Cagsawa was buried under lava, causing the death of 1,200 people.
Last year, Mayon spewed 500-meter-high ashes and rocks, killing five people, including a Spanish tourist.