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DPWH on alert status as Mayon’s eruptive activity continues

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The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional and District Risk Reduction and Management Teams in Bicol Region have been on alert status in Bicol Region as the eruptive activities of Mayon Volcano continue.

In a statement, the department said that DPWH Region 5 Director Danilo E. Versola has already ordered the District Engineers of the three (3) DPWH District Engineering Offices in Albay “to closely monitor national road network and river channels in their jurisdiction that may be affected by the rapid lava flowing down the slopes of Mayon Volcano.”

“The strategic pre-positioning of heavy equipment and service vehicles were instructed to provide timely support for road clearing operations, movement of people to evacuation and other safe places, and relief distribution,” DPWH said.

Meanwhile, the department said that it has already identified alternate routes to prevent isolation of municipalities highly vulnerable to ash plume and volcanic mudflows or lahar for worst case scenario.

It was earlier warned that debris deposited on the slopes of the volcano could lead to lahar flows as rains were experienced in Bicol these past few days.

“The danger from a mudflow increases near stream channels and prolonged heavy rains,” the department said.

“If the lahar or ash fall is at the southeast of the volcano, Tabaco-Ligao Natinal Secondary Road will be the alternate route if Legazpi-Sto Domingo-Tabaco Road is affected,” it added.

The DPWH said that vehicles from Manila to Legazpi City and Sorsogon can take the Camalig-Comun-Gapo-Peñafrancia National Secondary Road if Camalig Section of Daang Maharlika Highway which is south of Mayon is affected.

Meanwhile, for travellers from Manila to Legazpi and Sorsogon, Ligao-Tabaco Road will be the alternative road for the Guinobatan Section of Daang Maharlika Highway if volcanic ash reaches Guinobatan area.

The Philvolcs has earlier raised the alert status of Mt. Mayon to Alert Status 3. Thousands of residents have fled their homes due to the unrest of the volcano.