Mayon tourists warned of phreatic eruptions

Tourists, especially riders of all-terrain vehicles and trekkers, have been told to be wary of sudden phreatic eruptions around the slopes of Mayon Vocano in Albay.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology issued the warning after the local government of Legazpi reopened the city to tourists.

Paul Alanis, resident volcanologist at the Phivolcs‘ Lignon Hill Observatory, said ATV riders must not go beyond the six-kilometer permanent danger zone. Trekkers are only allowed up to Camp One or an elevation of around 2,500 feet.

Alanis cited a 2013 incident involving four foreigners and their Filipino tour guide, who died when Mayon suddenly erupted while they were on the upper slopes.

Alanis warned, “Considering the condition of Mayon, which is still abnormal and its erratic characteristics of suddenly having phreatic explosions, these people would be taking high risk should they go beyond the prohibited areas.”

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