MANILA — The government has started evacuating residents around Mayon, after the Phivolcs raised its status to Alert Level 3, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said on Thursday.
Marcos said they are closely monitoring the developments not only in Mayon Volcano in Albay but in Taal Volcano as well.
"Mayon is a little bit more advanced in terms of — hindi pa naman lumalabas ang lava. But if the lava flow starts, that's — we really have a disaster," Marcos told Palace reporters in a chance interview.
"Right now, what we are doing is preparing and moving people away from the area... Kaya nakabantay tayo nang husto at naka-ready tayo," he added.
"We watch it very closely, make sure that any of the communities that could be affected are evacuated and given assistance while they are evacuated until the time that they could return to their homes," he added.
Albay Governor Edcel Lagman earlier in the day ordered the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) to start the preemptive evacuation inside the 6-kilometer radius permanent danger zone of Mayon Volcano.
He likewise ordered the suspension of classes in all levels for schools inside the 6km radius permanent danger zone and for the disaster response monitoring units to maintain 24-hour monitoring should
Once the alert status in Mayon is raised to Level 4, disaster monitoring and response units were to "maintain 24 hour monitoring and state of readiness to evacuate population inside the 7-kilometer radius extended danger zone."
In its report, the Phivolcs said there was a "very slow extrusion of shallow degassed magma is ongoing and is incrementally increasing in rate; i.e., effusive magmatic eruption is taking place."
"This means that Mayon is exhibiting magmatic eruption of a summit lava dome, with increased chances of lava flows and hazardous PDCs [pyroclastic density current] affecting the upper to middle slopes of the volcano and of potential explosive activity within weeks or even days," the report read.
The Philippine leader, meanwhile, said the health department has already implemented interventions regarding the vog in various parts of Batangas because of the Taal volcano.
Laurel, Batangas Mayor Lyndon Bruce earlier said some residents have developed cough and other respiratory problems due to the vog.
"We know where the wind is blowing kaya alam na natin kung saan dadaan ang toxic gases kaya papaiwasin na natin yung mga tao na nakatira doon sa area na 'yun," said Marcos.
Phivolcs said Taal Volcano remains on Alert Level 1 and "should not be interpreted to have ceased unrest nor ceased the threat of eruptive activity."