Mayon response: OCD allocates P250 million in funding
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has prepared around P250 million for the Mayon volcano response, its spokesperson Raffy Alejandro IV said on Friday.
“For OCD, we have enough resources,” Alejandro said in an interview with reporters at OCD Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo Quezon City.
“We have close to around — available funds of almost P250 million. That is cash, available funds that we can use,” he added.
Alejandro noted OCD also has around P108 million pesos worth of commodities.
“In our stockpile alone, we have P108 million pesos worth of non-food items like malong and tents,” he noted.
State seismologists on Thursday warned a “hazardous eruption” of Mayon Volcano could be weeks or days away as it raised its alert level classification to three.
The provincial government of Albay had already ordered the mandatory evacuation of more than 18,000 residents inside Mayon’s permanent danger zone.
Between June 7th and 8th, 98 rockfalls were observed at Mayon Volcano. In a recent report, Phivolcs documented six four- to five-minute pyroclastic density currents, which deposited lava debris in the southern gullies within two kilometers of the volcano’s crater. On Thursday night, Phivolcs Director Teresito Bacolcol announced that a “crater glow” was observed at Mayon.
Regarding the eruption scenario, Bacolcol hoped Mayon’s current unrest would not lead to a full eruption and instead resemble its 2014 activity with lava flow but no magmatic explosion.
As of June 7, Mayon’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions have dropped to 332 metric tons per day from a previous level of 500. Additionally, no volcanic earthquakes were recorded on Thursday, June 8, with only two reported since June 5. These factors suggest that an eruption like the one in 2018 may not occur.
Bacolcol mentioned that although sulfur dioxide emissions are now lower, they closely monitor the Mayon volcano as anything could still happen.
In light of these events, Phivolcs has advised residents near Mayon to evacuate the six-kilometer permanent danger zone. Bacolcol cited pyroclastic density currents, rockfalls, lava flows, and a potential eruption as reasons for the evacuation.
Over 18,000 people residing in the permanent danger zone have been ordered to evacuate by the administration of Albay province. Mandatory evacuations will begin Friday morning in Daraga, Malilipot, Camalig, Ligao, and Tabaco. The provincial authorities have also prohibited quarrying and human activity within a seven-kilometer radius of the volcano.
On Thursday, Phivolcs raised Mayon volcano’s alert level to 3, indicating a possible explosive activity could occur within days or weeks. – With background reports from PDI