By Francis Wakefield
The number of families affected by Mayon volcano’s increasing unrest has already reached 5,318 or 21,823 persons from 25 barangays in Albay province.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Romina Marasigan said the affected families/persons came from the municipalities/cities of Camalig, Guinobatan, Daraga, Malilipot , Ligao City, and Tabaco City in the province of Albay (Region V), and are currently staying in 18 designated evacuation centers.
Marasigan said the number of affected families/residents increased as of 2 a.m. Tuesday due to the lava flow coming from the volcano.
She said a total of nine episodes of tremors— four of which accompanied short-duration lava fountaining—and 75 lava collapse events, corresponding to rockfall along the front, and margins of advancing lava and short pyroclastic flows downriver of Miisi Gully within the Permanent Danger Zone were recorded by Mayon’s seismic network.
Marasigan added that collapse events and some degrassing events at the summit crater generated ash that rose to 2 kms. and fell on the barangays of Camalig, Guinobatan and Polangui.
Lava flow on the the Miisi Gully has presently advanced to approximately 2 kms. from the crater, while shorter volume lava flows have been emplaced on the upper slopes of the Bongga Gully.
“Alert Level 3 remains in effect over Mayon Volcano, which means that it is currently in a relatively high level of unrest as magma is at the crater and hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or even days,” the NDRRMC said.
Due to Mayon’s increasing restiveness, classes in the municipalities of Guinobatan, Camalig, Sto. and Tabaco City, (pre-school to Senior High School) and Sto..Domingo town (all levels) were suspended.
Marasigan said the NDRRMC remains on Blue Alert status.
Meanwhile the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported that 4,134 families or 16,887 persons are currently staying in 18 evacuation centers, while the rest are staying with relatives in Daraga town.
DSWD’s field office in Bicol Region has provided P124,605 worth of assistance to the local government of Malilipot and is awaiting the request of other local government units (LGUs) for augmentation support.
DSWD OIC Secretary Emmanuel Leyco assured the public that there is sufficient food and non-food assistance, which can be immediately released once needed.
He appealed to the affected residents to follow orders of local authorities for their own safety.
According to Phivolcs, Mayon Volcano had 51 eruptions in history. The last time was in August 12, 2014. (Additional reporting by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz)