40,000 flee Mayon eruption

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2018 03:05 AM

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Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara on Monday night said about 40,000 residents have been evacuated following fresh activity from Mayon Volcano.

"As of tonight, aabot na ng 40,000 ang mga evacuees. Kasi 'yung iba kahit malayo, natatakot na sila. We have to accommodate them," he said in an interview over Bandila DZMM.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Monday afternoon raised the alert level to four on a scale of five that warns of imminent hazardous eruption.

Because of the massive evacuation and depleting resources, Bichara said they will be tapping national government agencies.

"Ngayon siyempre, we have to provide yung pangangailan nila kasi nawalan sila ng source of livelihood, so limited ang resources namin," he said.

Bichara also declared suspension of classes in all levels, both in public and private schools, in several cities and municipalities for January 23, 2018 (Tuesday).

The affected areas are Legazpi, Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Oas and Polangui.

Bichara also gave discretion to mayors of other cities and municipalities to resume their classes if they are not affected from the volcano.

These areas are Rapu-Rapu, Manito, Jovellar, Pio Duran, Tiwi, Malilipot, Tabaco, Bacacay, Libon, Malinao, and Sto. Domingo.

WORST CASE SCENARIO

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Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum, on his part, said the eruption of Mayon Volcano is not over.

"Meron po tayong inaasahang volume ng magma na posibleng ilabas nito. At kung mas explosive ang kanyang eruption, mas madali pong matatapos," he said.

Previous eruptions lasted a month, Solidum said.

As of Monday night, Mayon Volcano was seen spewing lava.

The top volcanologist, meanwhile, is not anticipating a worst case scenario with the restive volcano.

Two of the most destruction eruption in Mayon Volcano's history took place in 1814 that claimed 1,200 lives and in 1987 that killed 350 people due to pyroclastic flows.

"Kung titingnan natin yung 1814 at 1897 eruption, noong simula pong madetect ang mga senyales, ito ay natapos kaagad in one day or three days. Mabilis po ang pag-akyat ng magma. Hindi po iyan pinakita ng Mayon," he said. 

"At bago po ang mga nabanggit na eruption ay marami pong naramdamang paglindol, self-events dahil sa volcano, wala po tayong ganung nakita, so hindi natin inaasahan yung worst case scenario ng 1814 or 1897."

Since the Mayon Volcano is exhibiting increased seismic unrest, lava fountaining, and summit explosions, Solidum urged residents to remain vigilant.

"Kapag nagkakaroon na po ng matayog na pag-ibsan ng apoy at bato, all-around na po ang danger," he said.