Mayon ashfall forces evacuation in critical areas


The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) is closely monitoring the behavior of Mayon Volcano after it spewed ash due to unexpected phreatic eruption during heavy rains Saturday afternoon.

Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) chief, said evacuation of residents in Barangay Quirangay, parts of Guinobatan and Ligao City has started.

Automatic evacuation of residents from other areas from the six-kilometer danger zones such Camalig and Daraga were also ordered due to ashfall.

“It is hard today for us to collect data, especially ashes because of heavy rains,” Daep said.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum Jr said the phreatic eruption was ongoing and the plume height of an estimated three kilometers and direction was bent towards southwest directions of the province of Albay due to strong winds.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council activated all its municipal counterparts, especially in the third district of Albay province, the most affected by volcanic activity.

Mayors Arhdail Baldo of Camalig and Gemma Onjoco of Guinobatan have directed all barangay officials to alert their constituents and take necessary precautions.

Phreatic eruption is a steam-driven explosion when water underground or surface water is heated by magma, hot rocks, lava or new volcanic deposits. (PNA)

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