Mayon threat spreads, risking 105,000 people

MANILA -- Forty-nine villages or barangays with about 105,000 people around Mayon Volcano's permanent and extended danger zones are facing risks from the continuing unrest of the scenic but restive volcano.

Lava flow, ashfall, pyroclastic flow, and lahar are among such hazards, noted Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs)

science research assistant Lauren BaAes.

"Those hazards can affect even villages in Mayon's extended danger zone (EDZ) if unrest in this volcano intensifies further," BaAes said.

Mayon's permanent danger zone (PDZ) covers a 6-kilometer radius measured from the summit of the volcano.

The EDZ there at present is the 2-km extension of PDZ, bringing Mayon's total danger zone radius to 8 km, measured from the summit.

Last week, Phivolcs raised Mayon Volcano's alert level to 4 and set a bigger danger zone, as the agency warned of an imminent major eruption due to the volcan's "intense unrest."

The villages at risk for Mayon Volcano's hazards, Phivolcs said, are: Bacacay municipality's Upper Bonga and Sogod; Camalig municipality's Anoling,

CabagAan, Quirangay, Salugan, Sua, and Tumpa; Daraga municipality's BaAadero, Budiao, Matnog, Mi-isi, and Salvacion; and Guinobatan

municipality's DoAa Tomasa, Maninila, Masarawag, Muladbucad PequeAo, and Muladbucad Grande.

Phivolcs added villages under threat are Legazpi City's Barangays 50 to 54; Ligao City's Baligang, Amtic, Nabonton, and Tambo; Malilipot municipality's Calbayog, Canaway, San Francisco, San Jose, San Roque, Santa Cruz, and Santa Teresa; Santo Domingo municipality's Fidel Surtida, Lidong, San Fernando, and Santa Misericordia; and Tabaco City's Bantayan, Bonot, San Isidro, Buang, Buhian, Comon, Magapo, Mariroc, Oras, Oson, and Tabiguian.

Phivolcs cited 2010 National Statistics Office's data, which estimates the total population in those areas at nearly 104,400 people at that time.

In its bulletin released Monday, Phivolcs said its instruments had detected 41 volcanic earthquakes and 16 rockfall events in Mayon Volcano.

Four of six tremor events in Mayon corresponded to lava fountaining there, Phivolcs continued.

"Alert Level 4 remains in effect over Mayon Volcano. The public is strongly advised to be vigilant and desist from entering the 8.0-km

radius danger zone and to be additionally vigilant against pyroclastic density currents, lahars, and sediment-laden streamflows along channels draining the edifice," Phivolcs added.

Source: Philippine News Agency