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Signs Philippine volcano may be preparing to erupt

MANILA, June 21 (Reuters) - The Philippines' Mayon volcano, restive for months, intensified its lava emissions on Thursday in what could be a sign it was building up for a major eruption, scientists said.

More than 200 small tremors had been picked up by instruments and two rivers of flaming lava had rolled 1,500 metres (4,845 feet) down Mayon's slopes since Wednesday, the Philippine Insitute of Vulcanology and Seismology said in a bulletin.

"We are studying whether to raise the alert level to four," institute chief Raymundo Punongbayan said in a radio interview.

Alert level four means a hazardous explosion is possible within hours to days, scientists said.

The volcano, located in Albay province 330 km (205 miles) southeast of Manila, is under alert level three, meaning an eruption is possible within days to weeks.

The government has declared a six-km (3.7-mile) radius from around the crater as a no man's land since the volcano began rumbling in January.

Mayon, one of the Philippines' 22 active volcanos, has a history of violent eruptions. The deadliest occurred in 1814 when it buried a town under mud and rocks, killing 1,200 people.

-- PHO (, June 21, 2001


Gosh, no....not another Mt. Minatubo. That one, in 1991, spewed more gunk into the atmosphere than fifty years of what the environmentalists have been complaining about as due to man-made emissions.

-- R2D2 (, June 21, 2001.

Hmm--if Mother Nature already pours lots of stuff into the air, then we humans

a) should/may

b) should not

compound the collection?

Or, put another way: since my pets already track dirt and shed hair on my carpets, then I don't need to bother wiping my own shoes on the mat before I come in?

What's your Housekeeping Quotient?

-- L. Hunter Cassells (, June 22, 2001.

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