Albay orders mandatory evacuation of residents in Mayon Volcano’s ‘danger zone’
LEGAZPI CITY — The local government of Albay has ordered the mandatory evacuation of residents inside the six-kilometer permanent danger zone on Thursday, June 8, after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised alert level 3 on Mayon Volcano.
Eugene Escobar, chief of research division of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office, said during the emergency meeting at the capitol in this city that alert level 3 meant the mandatory evacuation of all farmers and prohibition of human activities inside the danger zone.
Escobar said local officials were tasked to evaluate the evacuation centers and assess the needs in their respective areas.
Albay Governor Edcel Greco Lagman said classes at all levels in public and private schools within the danger zone would also be suspended.
The provincial government has not yet released the latest data on the number of villages and residents that had to be evacuated from the foot of the volcano.
Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo Jr. ordered the early dismissal of classes in Tumpa, Quirangay, and Cabangan villages, which are inside the six to seven kilometer radius of the volcano.
Baldo said farmers and other residents would not be allowed to enter the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone.
Phivolcs said there was an “increased tendency towards a hazardous eruption,” which means increased chances of lava flows and hazardous pyroclastic density currently affecting the upper to middle slopes of the volcano and of potential explosive activity within weeks or even days.
The increased activity prompted Phivolcs to raise the alert level on Mayon Volcano from 2 (increasing unrest) to 3 (increased tendency towards a hazardous eruption) on Thursday morning.