ALBAY, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned on Saturday, January 27, that the heavy rainfall over Albay might trigger lahar flow from Mayon Volcano.
Phivolcs chief resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta said that the river channels connected to Mayon might pose risk, as the volcano can generate lahar and cause a lahar flow to the province’s low lying areas.
Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara convened mayors on Saturday and directed them to secure residents living near the river channels of Buyuan and Mabinit in Legazpi, Miisi in Daraga, Basud in Sto Domingo, San Vicente in Tabaco, and Quirangay in Camalig.
The areas of Guinobatan, Ligao, Camalig, Daraga, Legazpi, Malilipot and Tabaco are at the most risk in the event of a lahar flow, officials said.
Mayon Volcano had been intermittently erupting for 15 days, ejecting at least 25 million cubic meters of volcanic debris, 10.5 million cubic meters of which are lahar materials.
River channels connected to Mayon had become swollen following heavy rainfall in the last fews days. Residents living near river banks had been evacuated.
“They may not be affected by the Mayon eruption but they are threatened by lahar flow so they must be evacuated to higher grounds for safety,” said Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo).
Residents were advised to seek higher grounds when heavy rains occur.
As of posting, there are 21,256 families or 81,997 persons housed in 72 evacuation centers or 1,038 school classrooms in Legazpi City, Tabaco City, Ligao City, Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Sto Domingo, Malilipot, and Bacacay. – Rappler.com