Saturday, 11 July 2009

Mayon Volcano--from a plane cockpit

Thanks to PILOTOKO


Mayon watch: Albay readies evacuation plans

MANILA, Philippines - With the alert level for Mayon Volcano raised to “2," provincial officials in Albay have mapped out evacuation plans, including those for forced evacuation of residents near the volcano.

Cedric Daep, head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO), said Governor Jose Salceda has also banned mountain-climbing activities on Mayon.

"Sa ngayon nag-issue si Governor ng advisory, pinagbawal ang mountain climbing. Bawal ang any human activity in critical areas sa 6-km permanent danger zone [The governor issued an advisory barring mountain-climbing. He also banned human activity in critical areas at the six-kilometer permanent danger zone]," Daep said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Daep said they had met with village chiefs in high-risk zones to ask them to convince farmers not to sleep in areas near the permanent danger zone.

He said farmers are keeping watch over their farms in the danger zone at this time, as harvest time nears.

"Sabi namin bawal matulog. Kung harvest madalian para walang matutulog o magbabantay sa taas. Nakaalerto ang barangay officials kung ano ang bawal, bawal talaga [We said farmers should not sleep in the area. If they will harvest their crops they should do so quickly. Our village officials have instructions to enforce this rule, without exception]," he said.

On the other hand, Daep said evacuation plans will go into effect once Alert Level 3 is raised.

"Once declared sa Alert Level 3, we will execute mandatory evacuation... Susundan ang resolution declaring the area as no human activity... Pag mandatory evacuation under 24-hour curfew, papalagay kami ng security [Once Mayon is placed under Alert Level 3, we will execute mandatory evacuation. There will be a resolution declaring the area as a no-human-activity area. Under mandatory evacuation, there will be a 24-hour curfew there, and we will place security personnel there]," he said.


Phivolcs’ website on Mayon eruptions said the volcano has had at least 40 eruptions since February 1616.

The most destructive eruption occurred Feb. 1, 1814, when pyroclastic flows, volcanic lightning, and lahar affected Camalig, Cagsawa, Budiao, Guinobatan and half of Albay. At least 1,200 were listed as casualties.

The second most destructive eruption was from June 4 to July 23, 1897, as pyroclastic flow, lava flow, lahar and volcanic lightning caused 350 casualties.

On July 20-24, 1766, pyroclastic and lava flows destroyed Malinao and damaged Cagsawa, Guinobatan, Budiao, Polangui and Ligao. There were 39 casualties.

On July 7, 1853, 34 casualties were listed as ashfall and pyroclastic flow and lahar affected Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Oas, Polangui, Malilipot, Bacacay, and Cagsawa.

From Feb. 2 to April 4, 1993, pyroclastic and lava flow killed 77 and injured five.

Mayon erupted again from July to October 2006. In August 2006, government ordered the evacuation of people living near the volcano.

On Oct. 3, 2006, Phivolcs downgraded the threat level to Alert Level 2. On Oct. 25, it downgraded the threat level to Alert Level 1.

But on Nov. 30 that year, Typhoon Durian caused mudslides of volcanic ash and boulders from the slopes of Mayon Volcano, burying at least 1,000.

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