Thursday Tangents: Eruptions at Mayon and Bezymianny

The busy week of volcanic eruptions continue, this time with Bezymianny joining in. Also, updates on the ongoing eruption and evacuations near Mayon.

Looks like last night was busy, volcanically speaking. Eruptions readers noted that VAAC warning of ash from both Mayon (to 10,000 feet / 3.0 km) and Bezymianny (to 32,000 feet / 10 km) were issued {hat tip to Chance Metz for the updates}. Here is some more news on these ongoing events:



Mayon erupting in December 2009.

Mayon, Philippines

Evacuations are continuing near Mayon in the Philippines, some of them forcibly by the local authorities. PHIVOLCS is reporting that SO2 output from Mayon has jumped from ~750 tonnes/day to almost 2,800 tonnes/day over the last 24 hours and seimicity continues to increase. The ash cloud might have reached 10,000 feet / 3 km according to the VAAC warning, suggesting a larger explosive component than we've seen so far. It is amusing that after one day of coverage the BBC already has gone to a headline of "Philippine volcano Mount Mayon 'still a danger'", implying that it is odd that it is still dangerous after a day of activity, especially considering that PHIVOLCS is warning people that Mayon could be dangerous for months. The NASA Earth Observatory posted a ALI on EO-1 shot of Mayon taken on December 16, showing the proximity of the volcano (and its eruptive products) to Legazpi City.

Bezymianny, Russia

Meanwhile, to the north of the Philippines (well, quite a ways to the north), Bezymianny on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia erupted. The volcano experienced a number of explosions and produced an ash plume that reached upwards of 10 km / 32,000 feet, although some reports put the plume as tall as 15 km / 40,000 feet. Local authorities are warning the few people living near the volcano to stay indoors if possible.

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