Phivolcs clarifies: Mayon volcano not erupting like Taal

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Phivolcs dispelled rumors that Mayon Volcano has recently started acting up alongside Taal Volcano to refute claims on social media. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 14) — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology dismissed as hoax some online reports that Mayon Volcano has also started acting up alongside Taal Volcano's unrest.

The agency clarified on Tuesday that Mt. Mayon is not on the verge of erupting, a message wrongly claimed on social media. Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum said Mayon Volcano has been on alert level 2 since March 2018.

"Huwag na po nating isama 'yun sa mga kasalukuyang nag-a-activate (na bulkan), para lang maliwanag," Solidum said in a media briefing.

Located in Albay province over 300 kilometers southeast of Manila, the Mayon Volcano is known for its perfect cone-shaped structure. The volcano has been showing a "moderate level of unrest" for nearly two years now, with a six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone hoisted in the area. It was last seen spewing lava in January 2018, with ash plumes going as high as three kilometers from Mayon's mouth.

TIMELINE: The Mayon eruption

Some social media posts made it look like Mayon's alert level 2 had just been hoisted, sowing fear that multiple volcano eruptions are threatening Luzon.

Taal Volcano remains under alert level 4, with Phivolcs warning that a hazardous eruption may occur within hours or days. Residents within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal's caldera have been evacuated as the volcano continues to spew ash and magma, and causes earthquakes and fissures in nearby towns and cities.

Solidum also clarified that Taal would only be placed on alert level 5 once the disastrous eruption takes place.

Phivolcs Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division chief MaritoBornas said that while activity on Taal's surface has simmered down, it did not lessen the chances of a violent explosion.