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No indication of strong explosion from Mayon Volcano — PHIVOLCS

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, January 19th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — In the latest report on Mayon Volcano, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has recorded 48 rockfall events; two episodes where it blew out very thick ash, and one volcanic earthquake in the past 24 hours.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary and Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said their initial findings showed only lava flowing from Mayon’s mouth and no indication of strong explosion coming from the volcano.

Nevertheless, Solidum warned the residents not to take Mayon’s recent activities lightly as its threat remains high at alert level 3.

Solidum explained that they have a designed a device that will measure the amount of lava that Mayon has to spew out, which will indicate a strong explosion.

“It hasn’t reached the quota yet.  The volcano has only emitted an estimated 5 million cubic meters of lava. So it’s really possible that the release of lava will just go on, which is better for the residents. But it is difficult to tell that it’s up to that only unless the volcano’s swelling stops and it quiets down,” said the director.

Solidum added that basing from Mayon’s explosion in 2009 that is similar to its recent activities, residents may have to stay in the evacuation centers for at least a month.

This is why the PHIVOLCS appeals to the residents to remain in the evacuation centers.

“You can never tell the speed and the volume of the volcano’s deposits. But based on past Mayon eruptions, evacuation may be as short as three weeks to one month.  But in some occasions, evacuees may stay longer up to 3 months,” said Solidum.

Based on the PHIVOLCS and the Albay provincial government’s guidelines, evacuation is not yet needed if the degree of danger is still at alert level one.

But if there is already a low or moderate tremor, and the volcano’s crater is getting slightly luminous, the alert is raised to level 2 and pre-emptive evacuation is implemented.

The mandatory evacuation is applied at alert level 3 where the swelling of the volcano’s mouth is evident and lava rockfall and thick ashes are released.

Forced evacuation, on the other hand, is executed when the alert is realized to level 4 and at level 5 when an explosion has taken place.

The PHIVOLCS has earlier advised all Albay residents to always be on alert at all the times that the Mayon Volcano is active. — Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue


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PHIVOLCS proposes to ban quarrying inside 6-km permanent danger zone around Mt. Mayon

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) believes that quarrying inside the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone may cause peril in case Mayon Volcano produces lahar flow.

PHIVOLCS Senior Science Specialist and spokesperson Dr. Ed Laguerta, said that if Mayon spews lahar deposits, they might flow in the wrong direction, even to the places that are not considered problem areas.


This prompted PHIVOLCS to propose to the Albay provincial government the banning of quarrying inside the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone.


Albay Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) head Tess Atos, on the other hand, said that local executives need to meet and discuss the matter.

“Well we have to sit down and discuss really kung ano ba talaga ang magiging (what will be the) adverse impact nito kasi (of this). If I remember  it right, there are LGU’s na kung minsan (that sometimes) they are even requesting for some quarrying activity for the reason that para yung tubig (the water) along the river channel medyo hindi ma-contain sa isang area lang (will not be contained in one area alone),” said Atos.

Whatever is the case, it is up to the Albay provincial government to accept PHIVOLCS’ proposal. — Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue

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Albay LGU studies possible return of residents to their homes within the 8-9km danger zone

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Local officials admitted being unable to sustain the food supply needed by evacuees.

Should the Mayon Volcano continues to show signs of improvement, the provincial government of Albay might decide to allow the evacuees to return to their homes located within the designated eight to the nine-kilometer danger zone.

The local government said the plan would help decongest evacuation centers and to sustain the need for food of the thousands of evacuees.

However, according to Governor Al Francis Bichara, their decision will still depend on the observations of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

“If they will lower the alert level to three, then we will allow the residents living within the nine to nine-km danger zone to return to their homes. While those living in the six to seven danger zones, we have to maintain them for a while,” Bichara said.

PHIVOLCS said Mt. Mayon has released about 50% of its lava deposit. With this, the agency is expecting the condition of the volcano to improve.

Gov. Bichara admitted that if the current situation remains unchanged until the next three months, the local government would not be able to sustain the need for food of the evacuees.

In terms of fund, the existing budget of the provincial government for the food of evacuees is enough for two months only. This is why the local government is calling for additional financial aid from various organizations.

For now, more than 80,000 individuals or 20,000 families are staying at evacuation centers.

The local government allots P200 for the food of each family.

This means the local government of Albay spends more than P4- million daily for food of the evacuees.

“We really have to maintain the supply because if you surpass the first and second day, not only Mayon will erupt, but the people as well,” Bichara said.

Earlier, local officials of Albay received P50-million worth of financial aid from President Rodrigo Duterte.

This is aside from the P25-million the president gave last Monday.

The province of Albay is also waiting for the P35-million additional aid from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), which has been requested by the President himself from PCSO Board Member Sandra Cam.

Since day one, the provincial government already received a total of P27-million from various private organizations. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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NDRRMC assures sufficient relief goods for 3 months amid Mayon Volcano activities

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson, Romina Marasigan said that the government has a fund of around P7-billion for families displaced by the recent activities on Mayon Volcano.

“If you can recall, the Marawi incident lasted for more than five months, but the DSWD was able to sustain [public needs],” said the spokesperson.

Marasigan added that the government has enough supplies to sustain the needs of the affected residents that can last for three months.

To date, the government has released more than P26 million to provide support for the more than 7,000 families in the 29 evacuation centers in Albay.

“Up to now, red alert status is raised here at the operation center so that we can assure that we can give assistance and we can monitor the activities of Mayon Volcano,” said the official.

Marasigan added that the local government is also implementing forced evacuation of the residents within Mayon’s nine-kilometer radius.

Meanwhile, Marasigan said that the national government can not grant the request of Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara to give the affected residents cash instead of food and non-food items.

“We have protocols to follow, especially in giving out assistance. We are not allowed to download cash to local government units,” said the spokesperson.

She added that aside from the eight areas that are directly affected by Mayon Volcano’s activities, Iriga City in Camarines Sur is also experiencing ash fall. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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