MANILA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Philippine authorities lowered the alert status of Mayon volcano on Tuesday from alert level 4 to alert level 3, meaning that the Philippines' most active volcano has shown "decreased tendency towards hazardous eruption."
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the decision to downgrade Mayon's status was made after scientific indicators showed significant decrease in the past week.
"Mayon Volcano's condition in the past week has been characterized by a general decline in unrest reflected by moderate seismicity and degassing, deflation of the edifice and a decrease in eruptive activity at the summit crater," the institute said in its bulletin issued Tuesday morning.
The institute said it is lowering the alert status of Mayon "to reflect the overall decrease in the level of unrest."
"Alert level 3 means that there is a decreased tendency towards hazardous explosive eruption but should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased," the institute warned.
It said the volcano "can be expected to continue generating volcanic earthquakes, magmatic gas output and weak surface processes such as sporadic degassing and lava effusion events, steam-driven explosions, rockfall and pyroclastic density currents (PDCs), while shallow remnant magma rests within the edifice."
The institute further warned that "sudden explosions, lava collapses, PDCs and ashfall can still occur and threaten areas in the upper to middle slopes of Mayon."
Villagers are still not allowed to enter the seven km-radius danger zone from the volcano's crater especially in the south-southwest to east-northeast sector of the volcano.
"People residing close to these danger areas are also advised to observe precautions associated with rockfalls and ashfall," the institute said.
Mt. Mayon, the Philippines' most active volcano rumbled back to life on Jan. 13 with lava fragments rising to its crater in a gentle eruption that prompted the authorities to evacuate thousands of villagers.
The 2,4400-meter cone-shaped volcano is located in Albay province approximately 400 km southeast of Manila on the island of Luzon.
The volcano is a popular tourist destination in the Bicol region. It is famed for its near-perfect cone but has a long history of deadly eruptions. It has erupted 51 times during the last 400 years. It last erupted in 2014.
In an 1814 eruption, more than 1,400 people were killed and three towns were buried under mud and rock.
The Philippine archipelago straddles the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.