What to Do Before, During, and After a Volcanic Eruption

Best to be prepared in case it happens.
by Pia Regalado
June 09, 2023
Ian Rodrick Astor Ogama

(SPOT.ph) The recent rockfalls and ashflows from Bicol's Mayon Volcano have been taken as signs it could erupt within days or weeks, prompting state volcanologists to declare Alert Level 3, meaning there's a high level of volcanic unrest.

At 9:27 p.m. Thursday, glowing lava was seen at the summit of Mayon Volcano. State volcanologists at Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) also monitored 199 rockfall events and six pyroclastic density currents (PDC) or flows of ash and debris, while it released steam plumes reaching 800 meters high.


To prepare for its possible eruption, the Office of Civil Defense under the Department of National Defense (DND) released some tips on what to do before, during, and after a volcanic eruption to ensure the safety of Filipinos in affected areas.

Also read:
Phivolcs Warns of Mayon Volcano's Potential 'Hazardous Eruption'
NASA Predicts a Total Solar Eclipse Will Loom Over Mayon Volcano in 2042

Remember these tips now that Mayon Volcano shows signs of possible eruption 

Before a volcanic eruption

It's best to know the signs there is an impending eruption. If you are near the volcano, monitor the following:

  • Increase of volcanic quakes accompanied by rumbling sounds
  • Change in the volcanic steam's color from white to ash grey
  • Drying out of vegetation, springs, and wells around the volcano
  • New thermal areas or reactivation of old ones

While monitoring the situation, do the following:

  • Monitor updates, advisories and warnings from authorities
  • Know where the evacuation site is and what's the fastest and safest way to get there
  • Prepare your GO BAG, which must have these essentials:
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PHOTO BY Department of Health/Facebook

During a volcanic eruption

  • When notified, immediately evacuate to safer areas
  • Assist in evacuating children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities (PWD)
  • Cover your mouth with wet cloth and wear protective goggles
  • Keep your pets in their shelters or indoors so they can avoid inhaling ash
  • Stay away from rivers and streams to avoid possible lahar flow

After a volcanic eruption

There's no guarantee that once it's done, it wouldn't erupt again. It's best to remain alert and cautious of your surroundings.

  • Leave the evacuation area only when authorities say it's safe to go
  • Always wear masks when cleaning your surroundings
  • If there's ash on your roof, scrape it off to prevent the roof from collapsing
  • Remove loose ash from plants before watering it